RECENT ARTICLES
  • NJ Legislation Seeks to End High School "Redshirting"

    by Jason Scott October 2015

    New Jersey State Sen. Richard Codey plans to introduce a bill that would penalize athletes who repeat a grade in middle school in order to get an athletic advantage in high school.

  • HS Football Player Dies After Injury, Fourth This Year

    by Jason Scott October 2015

    A high school football player died in Washington state yesterday after suffering an undisclosed injury during a game.

  • Coach Admits to Ordering Hit on Ref, Resigns, Recants

    by Jason Scott September 2015

     

    The assistant coach of the two Texas high school football players who blindsided a referee during a game earlier this month has resigned.

  • Your Call: Did This Ref Hit Warrant a Suspension?

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    Following an incident in Texas earlier this month, in which two high school football players leveled a referee, a Tennessee high school football player has been suspended for allegedly doing the same thing.

  • Players on National TV: Coach Ordered Hit on Referee

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    This morning on “Good Morning America,” Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, the high school football players who blindsided a referee during a game earlier this month, said they were following instructions from their coach.

  • Blog: No Dirty-Play Epidemic in High School Football

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    Earlier this week, we shared another story about a high school football player making another ugly play on the field.

    This time, the play was at least directed at an opponent, unlike the premeditated hit on a referee that made headlines earlier this month. There was also a less-publicized story about a player shoving a referee as a reaction to a call.

    So what’s going on? Is there a culture problem in football? Are coaches skipping the part where they instill values? Are players out of control? Is there something in the water?

    The likely answer: Probably not. Any of these might be a root cause for these incidents, or any random occurrence might have triggered them. The players involved in the hit on the referee alleged the ref had used racial slurs.

    Whatever the motivation, this sort of thing has been going on for a long time — just with less media attention.

    In today’s Internet culture, things can get noticed more quickly. The premeditated hit on the referee was just sensational enough to make us as observers perk up our ears. As new cases pop up that look and smell similar, we’re trying to connect the dots, looking for larger trends where perhaps none exist. 

    That’s not to say that we should do nothing to keep incidents like this from happening. We absolutely should.

    What we should not do is panic. We don’t have to turn into football Chicken Littles. The sky is not falling.

    For every instance of dirty play, the kind that grab headlines and leave us shaking our heads, there are many more examples of sportsmanship. Those things don’t get headlines, because the culture considers them boring.

    Football idealists might look at the dirty plays recently and question their worldview. If participation in athletics is supposed to instill young people with values, how could this be happening?

    That’s a question worth asking. We should look at some of the dirty play recently and double our efforts to teach sportsmanship to our young athletes. But let’s not freak out to the degree of questioning the value of sports participation in general.

    Don’t let a few outliers ruin your enjoyment of the game. 

  • WATCH: High School Football Player Rips Helmet from Opponent, Hits Him With It

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    Another instance of dirty play in high school football occurred in New Jersey last week.

  • California Poised to Become First State to Ban 'Redskins'

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    The California State Assembly voted on Thursday to approve legislation that would ban any schools within the state from using the term “Redskins” as their nickname or mascot.

  • Football Hazing Prompts Lawsuit Against School District

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    The family of a high school football player who committed suicide following a hazing scandal is suing the Milton (Vt.) School District and two of its leaders for failure to follow anti-hazing/bullying policies.

  • Board of Education Sued Over Mascot Rebrand

    by Jason Scott September 2015

    A man is suing the Vestavia Hills, (Ala.) Board of Education over its decision to rebrand the “Rebel” mascot at Vestavia Hills high school.