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High school coaches suspend entire football team

Published On: Sep 26 2013 02:24:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 02:25:59 PM CDT
Utah high school football team suspended

Coaches at Utah's Union High School suspended the entire football team -- both varsity and junior varsity -- right before the big homecoming game.

The Cougars have had a few academic issues this season, as well as some attitude problems.

Last week, the coaches learned that a player or players may have been involved in the anonymous cyber bullying of another student.

"It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn't want our young men going and so we felt like we needed to make a stand," said head coach, Matt Labrum.

So after Friday's home game, the coaches made all of their players hand in their jerseys. Players left the locker room in tears telling their parents the team had been disbanded.

But their season wasn't over. Players were being given the option to play again under some very specific terms outlined in a letter signed by the entire coaching staff. The letter called for the election of new team captains, two days of community service instead of practice, mandatory attendance at a character education class and at a study hall session.

Some feared the punishment might be too extreme, while others said Labrum knows his players and what's best for them.

The school district and the school said they've had nothing but support from parents.

So far all of Labrum's players are on track to earn the privilege of wearing the black and gold again. They're also learning the lessons their coaches hoped they would.

"It's not all about football, you know," said player Gavin Nielsen.

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