Players attacking opposing high school coach? What is happening with youth sports?

UPDATE: The AJC has reported more details on this story today, including that the Warren coach was injured when he intervened in a post-game fight between players at the Hancock stadium. Please read the updated story, in which the Warren superintendent contends that more than 30 Hancock players attacked Warren players, and the Warren coach tried to intervene and was “smashed in the face with a helmet.” Warren school chief Jean Carey wants the GBI to investigate but the Hancock sheriff has declined to bring in the GBI. The GBI says it can’t open a probe at the request of a school superintendent.

This is the second story in a week that makes me wonder what is happening to youth sports. The AJC is reporting that Warren County head coach David Daniels was attacked after Friday night’s game against Hancock Central High School. Warren County won the game 21-2. Daniels was allegedly attacked by players from the Hancock team.

The Warren County superintendent has asked the GBI to file criminal charges in the attack, which was so severe that Daniels is in the hospital with head injuries and has undergone major reconstructive surgery to his face to deal with crushed bones above and below his eye.

I would hope that Hancock Central High is taking a strong stand and doing its own review of what happened and whether its players assaulted Daniels. If so,  their football careers at the school should be over.

Last week, police in Carroll County said parents tried to fight 11- and 12-year-old football players. Parents reportedly rushed the field after a call that they didn’t like. The parents yelled obscenities at the children, and one held a child down and tried to remove his helmet so another kid could slug him, according to police. Police issued citations to three coaches for  disorderly conduct and obscene language.

These stories are so depressing that I am not sure what to say. If we wonder where kids learn violence, we don’t have to look to TV or movies. In many cases, they are learning it from their parents.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

154 comments Add your comment

Ernest

October 17th, 2011
10:57 am

This is getting depressing. It did not help that we also saw coaches misbehaving in college (UGA & Vanderbilt) and professional (SF & Detroit) football games over the weekend.

Have to be anonymous...I'm being monitored at my school

October 17th, 2011
11:06 am

Good thing we don’t teach them empathy in school. That would be a total waste of money. Oh wait…

Beverly Fraud

October 17th, 2011
11:07 am

Maureen posts this, but then steadfastly refuses to back off her assertion that the teacher is THE most important factor in a child’s educational existence.

I guess we should blame the coaches for being “weak, and ineffective” as opposed to assigning any accountability to the parents; after all the coaches, as teachers, are THE most important factor in the child’s educational existence.

Blue dog

October 17th, 2011
11:13 am

This is not new…….
I remember numerous HS basketball games where gangs would gather outside the exits and attack anyone leaving the gym after the game. These “gangs” were male students from the visiting high school who were poor losers.
Our coaches, along with other men would “clear the exits” and announce that it is now “safe” to leave.
This was in the 60’s at Harlem High school…not the one in NY…the one in Ga.

irisheyes

October 17th, 2011
11:14 am

Where WERE the Hancock County coaches? If this was an away game, why were the players just allowed to wander the area? When I was in HS, I did the stats for the baseball team, and for away games the players were never allowed to just head off to wherever they wanted to go. They had to go back to the school on the team bus, even if their parents had come to the game. If this whole story is true, the players should get arrested, the coaches should get fired, and the season should be immediately suspended until futher notice. I don’t think a school system can overreact to this.

irisheyes

October 17th, 2011
11:14 am

Lost in the filter!

Lori

October 17th, 2011
11:20 am

This is ridiculous. These kids should not only be not allowed to play football anymore, but they should be expelled from the school and brought up on criminal charges! I hope they are able to identify all the students involved and take appropriate action.

The other story about the parents attacking children is gross too! “Citations were issued”!! Really, just citations? These adults should also be arrested for attacking children.

Coach

October 17th, 2011
11:20 am

None of the students who participated in this attack should ever be allowed on another school campus, alternative or not, graduation rates be @#*^^ed.

Don't Tread

October 17th, 2011
11:24 am

I guess it’s too much to ask kids to have moral standards when their parents don’t have any.

Leyland

October 17th, 2011
11:36 am

Football is what mediocre people cling to when they’ve given up on life.

[...] Players attack opposing high school coach? What is happening with youth sports? | Get Schooled This is the second story in a week that makes me wonder what is happening to youth sports. [...]

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 17th, 2011
11:42 am

I agree. These kids who lost are having their futures ripped from them right before their eyes. This coach shouldve known better than to attempt at ruining the chances for these children to get a free ride thru college and onto the NFL. HOW DARE HIM!

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 17th, 2011
11:51 am

Sorry, I just wanted to be the first to present the illogical. ;)

SPARKY

October 17th, 2011
11:51 am

“I would hope that Hancock Central High is taking a strong stand and doing its own review of what happened and whether its players assaulted Daniels. If so, their football careers at the school should be over.”

You think these people care more about a human life than football???

Clueless

October 17th, 2011
11:57 am

THEIR FOOTBALL CAREERS SHOULD BE OVER?

Damn skippy! Their school careers should be over, too. They need to be in jail!

LeeH1

October 17th, 2011
11:59 am

It used to be that parents were also financially responsible for the actions of their children. The kids who beat up the coach should be arrested and tried as criminals. They are criminals.

But even more importantly, the parents of the convicted children should also be assessed for all the costs of hospitalization, treatment and recovery of the coach. The school system or the insurance company shouldn’t have to pay for this- the parents should.

Also, parents should insist that violent and abusive people, like Michael Vick (football), Todd Bertuzzi (Hockey) or Dennis Rodman (basketball), should not be allowed to play professional “Sports”. I know they make the teams lots of money. But thugs should not be employed in sports, unless you want to see kids emulate the thugs. In this case, they have.

Once Again

October 17th, 2011
11:59 am

What is happening with youth sports? Nothing new. Tragically the overly organized variety has always been an outlet for parents to live out the glory they never had in their youth or to relive the glory that has now escaped them in adulthood. Football is the worst of all because its design is evocative of war and all the violence it entails. Ground is gained, tactics are employed, etc. and the violence is implicit.

Then look around at our society and most especially our way of resolving conflict. Voluntary choice is all but gone in virtually every business and social interaction. We have laws (state violence) that regulate virtually every move we make from waking to sleeping and even after that. We no longer can decide what we eat, what we drink, what we smoke, who we do business with or what business we do without finding ourselves confronted by the violence of the state and its laws.

Our foreign policy has been hijacked by people who want war at the drop of a hat and only know extreme violence as a way of addressing any conflict. We impose trade embargos that kill millions all because we don’t like a country’s government, and we invade, kill, destroy, and occupy all to bring peace and democracy.

Don’t look anywhere but in the mirror on this one. You all gave up on voluntary interactions free of state intervention a long time ago and you continue to support even more of it every time to go to the ballot booth.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 17th, 2011
12:01 pm

Those children who attacked this coach, is it really their fault? Personally, I blame society.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 17th, 2011
12:03 pm

The coach should be the one going to jail for not allowing these children to win.

SPARKY

October 17th, 2011
12:04 pm

“I would hope that Hancock Central High is taking a strong stand and doing its own review of what happened and whether its players assaulted Daniels. If so, their football careers at the school should be over.”

I’m pretty sure they value football above the life of an opposing coach.

Jasmine Terse

October 17th, 2011
12:12 pm

Charges should be filed against these hoodlums.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 17th, 2011
12:16 pm

Its not the childrens fault. They came from single parent families and only have experienced life from the welfare/WIC side of the tracks.

Beverly Fraud

October 17th, 2011
12:42 pm

Well I’m sure Maureen will do the research, and of course the research will show that these children are blameless; indeed they are the victims of “weak, ineffective teachers” in Kindergarten and first grade.

Criminal charges should be filed, not against the students of course, but against the “weak, ineffective teachers” who above ALL other factors, are DIRECTLY responsible for putting the kids on the “school to prison pipeline”

What a sad commentary that these teachers committed such heinous acts.

William Casey

October 17th, 2011
1:16 pm

This story saddens me greatly. I coached football, basketball and baseball at a number of public and private high schools here in Georgia during the ’70’s thru ’90’s. My son played basketball and baseball at Northview more recently. I’ve been involved in hundreds of high school athletic events and have NEVER experienced anything like this. Though I don’t doubt the story, I find it impossible to believe how it could have happened.

In football, if we were the visting team, we always returned as a group to our buses as quickly as possible after the game. The players were always supervised by at least five coaches. Our bus left as soon as possible as well. This was fundamental. If we were the home team, we returned as a group to our locker room and remained there under supervision until the visiting team left. Also, fundamental. We clearly recognized that football is an emotional game and that players might “get into it” with other players. I never conceived that there would be attacks on opposing coaches. This report is bizarre.

If Hancock Central players were involved, they should be expelled. Their coaches should be sanctioned by the Professional Standards Commission. The school should consider cancelling (forfeiting) all remaining games of this season. A strong message must be sent. Regardless of who committed tis crime, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Maureen, I hope that you will follow up with precise details of this incident as they become available.

Inman Park Boy

October 17th, 2011
1:19 pm

This is clearly a parent problem, but modern parents rarely see it that way. This is a generation of parents who want to argue over every “C” a kid makes, sue the school over any and every kind of discipline (and let the school take a hard stand on something and the AJC is often the first to shout “Unfair!”), and otherwise make themselves pests at school. Parents clearly have a right (and a responsibility) to be involved in their child’e education, but many of them think this means acting like utter fools. And you think working in this atmosphere is going to draw our “best and brightest” to the teaching profession?? HA!

chillywilly

October 17th, 2011
1:24 pm

A lot of these kids don’t have any hometraining, respect for authority and are just plain monsters/predators. Our current laws have restricted law enforcement & school discipline and some of these kids have parents that behave worst than the kids. We need to let schools expel their bad asses and let law enforcement rough their no good asses up and then lock em up. If it was up to me, I’d cruise the streets, handcuff every one of them with sagging pants, that speak extremely bad grammar, take them to a boot camp and beat their asses everyday until they learn some manners, change their bad habits and change their bad looking appearance.

HS Public Teacher

October 17th, 2011
1:51 pm

It is not just “youth sports” Maureen….

It is “youth.” This is only a symptom. Our youth were never taught manners or proper behavior. Our youth learned their behavior from video games – most war/fight games. The parents of our “youth” never taught them the social graces that we were taught. The parents of our “youth” instead chose to defend the inappropriate actions of these youth and blamed the teachers.

These “youth” are becoming young adults. God help us all….

skipper

October 17th, 2011
1:55 pm

Ever been to Hancock Central? No way to say anything negative, as one will be branded “racist” but the school is a cluster……..one of the poorest counties in the NATION, and the most obvious lack of leadership in the history of the world. Kids havin’ kids, all the things that society tries to address, but things are CONSISTENTLY gettin’ worse. Don’t take anybodies word for it….go see for yourself.

Beverly Fraud

October 17th, 2011
2:23 pm

Yes skipper what you say may be true, but it pales in comparison to the weak, ineffective teachers who, above ALL other factors, caused this.

Pales in comparison? Is that politically incorrect terminology?

Let’s hope no teachers are seen on Facebook drinking Pale Ale. Not only will alcohol rehab be suggested, culturally sensitivity training for using such pejoratives as “pale” will be mandated.

Woody

October 17th, 2011
2:31 pm

Yeah, well, folks, I’m just thinking there are always two sides to any story. I’m wondering what happened on the field that night beyond one team lost pretty bad. Sounds like an outbreak of rage to me, and why was that exactly? Let’s be a little open to the ‘rest of the story’ and hope the good ‘ol AJC will ferret that out in the next few days.

William Casey

October 17th, 2011
2:37 pm

This topic seems to have unleashed a torrent of sarcasm toward all youth, parents, teachers and society in general. Doesn’t seem helpful to me. Let’s get the precise facts of the case and go from there.

Maureen Downey

October 17th, 2011
2:42 pm

@Woody, The AJC just updated the story. See blog for link to additional info. No matter what was said to any player on the field, there is no justification for hitting the coach in the face with helmet.
Maureen

Coach in Cobb

October 17th, 2011
2:43 pm

I’ve coached 3 sports for ten years and I am done coaching after this year. The parents are getting worse and worse. They all think their kid is the next Peyton Manning or Chris Paul and their kid can do no wrong. I’m burned out and will be turning in my whistle at the end of the year.

Pencil Pusher

October 17th, 2011
2:47 pm

Who is Chris Paul? Wasn’t he on American Idol last year?

Martha

October 17th, 2011
2:49 pm

Of course it is the parents’ fault! And the kids, too. Some of them KNOW how to behave, they just choose NOT to behave. Hard to raise a child to be a responsible person when you are out partying (with the child?), trying to act like you are the same age! “My daughter/son is my BEST friend.” Please….excuse me while I vomit. YOU are a parent, ACT like one. Be a good role model, enforce standards of conduct on your child that are acceptable to society.

Then….society (whether it be middle school, high school or college, pros or rec league) needs to enforce rules and regulations for acceptable behavior. Bust their butts, restrict their playing time, throw’em off the team, bar them from ever playing/coaching again. And, if necessary, press charges and do not drop them!!

Car Salesman

October 17th, 2011
2:52 pm

Spunky guys like that make good car washers for the inventory.

Good Mother

October 17th, 2011
3:13 pm

We need to ban football in high school. The nature of the game is violent. It produces and encourages obesity and chauvinism.

The whole sport of football needs to get out of the school system altogether. It costs school systems too much, it deprives schools of good teachers — because teachers get hired to coach football instead of teaching math and science, it promotes violence and glorifies machismo.

You don’t see crap like this happening at a gymnastics meet.

Titus Andronicus

October 17th, 2011
3:20 pm

Violence involving youth sports (pee-wee level) is fairly new. Violence at high school games is not.

Incidents from Georgia high school games of the 1910s-40s:
- 1919: Benedictine and Savannah High starts with a fight between players and devolves into one with the fans
- 1922: Waynesboro High timekeeper attacks Millen High players
- 1927: An Eastman doctor stabs a Dublin High player at a game
- 1948: Game between long-time rivals Nashville High and Cook High starts with accusations of Cook paying off referees and ends with Nashville fans attacking referees. Every few years, a game between the two has some level of brawling. It even spread to basketball one season.

That’s not even beginning to count the major brawls between teams that ended games earlier.

College games were worse. Ever hear the story of how Tennessee once stopped Georgia with a .38 (or a similar caliber) … literally? Jack Trice (which actually didn’t involve fans)?

Post-1947? A whole lot more. While no violence happened, I’ve watched coaches bully referees, the fans nodding along because they’ve been conned into thinking they’re really being cheated.

It’s a combination of deep-seated rivalries, coaches taking themselves too seriously, players taking themselves too seriously, fans taking themselves too seriously, bad winners, bad losers, inadequate security, the GHSA not understanding what caused any of it, and a whole lot of other mess.

It’s not a new phenomenon. The internet and new media is just making it a whole lot easier to find out.

gamom

October 17th, 2011
3:41 pm

Maureen, I can tell so many stories about youth and high school sports. My kids have been involved over many years….. I think there are a lot of high school coaches AND parents who simply lack common sense. Take over the summer for instance – it took the GHSA to issue a directive to curtail practice in the heat. It should have never come to that. If the GHSA didn’t issue the directive, the coaches would have continued to hold practices at all hours in that grueling heat. There were football players in my neck of the woods getting sick and going to ER before the directive was handed down. I have been to baseball games where coaches and parents had to be escorted off the field and out of the park for becoming hostile and worse. Many stories don’t make it to the news, but at least 2 times out of a season, my husband or I have encountered incidences. It really is absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes it is the parents who are the worst of all! They will drive their kids over the top in the hopes of reaping a college scholarship or they are living through their kids. And I don’t understand why coaches get away with all the cussing they do. If a kid did that they’d get thrown out of school, but the coaches get away with a LOT.

Terry Krugman

October 17th, 2011
3:48 pm

The over emphasis on winning is taking its toll. I know for a fact that a number of public schools actively recruit athletes -even those with failing grades who live outside the district- to augment their chances for success on the field or hardwood. Since the AJC was crucial in uncovering scandals with the APS and Dekalb School systems, I urged the writer who covers prep sports to do some investigative reporting on this. I again hope that the paper will look into schools bending the rules and sending the wrong message to its students, its players and the community.

gamom

October 17th, 2011
3:48 pm

There are also incidents that happen where the coaches want to keep things Hush Hush, especially if there is a dangerous prank or hazing between players. There often is a code of silence among players and coaches. And kids are so influenced by their coaches and the coaches behavior.. so I hope this is a lesson to every coach out there, that what they say and do has a tremendous impact on the team, players and parents. Coaches are supposed to be role models.

gamom

October 17th, 2011
3:49 pm

The AJC needs to look at public schools that bump grades of their athletes. This is a common practice!!!

Ole Guy

October 17th, 2011
3:52 pm

The very day the paddle…the “board” of education…was removed from the classroom was the same day upon which respect, from kids toward adults, embarked upon the slippery slope toward generational decline. Today’s kids, for the most part, fail to measure up to any competitive standard, moraly, ethically, much less educationally. Titus’ final remark on rivalries…winners and losers, etc is certainly true, however, the over-riding void, as I have indicated previously, is a complete breakdown in discipline and self-respect, both among kids AND adults not too far removed from the rudderless educational environment we find at the early years of a 21st Century global arena.

BE AFRAID…VERY AFRAID!

To Terry Krugman from Good Mother

October 17th, 2011
3:56 pm

Very well said. Thank you. We need to investigate. Please write the AJC with your thoughts.

gamom

October 17th, 2011
3:58 pm

And there is no excuse…none, nada, zip for a coach to be attacked in any manner whatsoever. There should be a full investigation.

To Titus Andronicus from Good Mother

October 17th, 2011
3:59 pm

…and dont’ forget the Romans. (How could you with a name like yours?) Roman sports were more violent and blood-thirsty. Lions and tigers and Christians in a ring till death.

Curtis Rivers

October 17th, 2011
4:06 pm

It’s about respect, and no paddling nor abusive behavior will bring that respect. It begins with kindergarten on, discipline in the class and on the field (discipline can be achieved in non-violent manners). If disrespectful behavior is stopped immediately with swift actions from the early years and reinforced on through school, we will see this behavior diminish. Also, the levels of violence on TV, video, movies, etc., is a huge influence on this kind of behavior.

TallaDawg

October 17th, 2011
4:06 pm

If Sheriff Primus had any sense he would WANT the GBI involved instead of even the chance of an apearance of inpropriety. But, if the GBI gets involved he would not be able to cover it up.

Lundy

October 17th, 2011
4:13 pm

Sounds like Beverly has some anger issues.

Former SPARK parent

October 17th, 2011
4:14 pm

46 so-so comments and counting, and only two that are center-ring on-target: chillywilly (as usual), and TallaDawg, who is apparently alone in grasping that this good ol’ boy sheriff ain’t about to let his authority be usurped by the GBI–it’s his job to cover for his county’s young thugs, and by God, he’s going to do it. But you watch–this is too big now. Somebody who DOES have the authority to get real investigators involved will do so. Just watch.