Coach's Cemetery Ploy Leads to Suspension

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The junior varsity high school football coach who tried to motivate players after a loss last weekend by having them lay face-up in a cemetery has been suspended for two weeks without pay.

Jim Marsh had offered his resignation after parents complained of his spur-of-the-moment decision to stop the team bus en route back to Marcellus (N.Y.) High School after a game Saturday in Skaneateles, but Marcellus superintendent Craig Tice refused to accept it, stating, "He took the responsibility." Marsh, who also teaches English and coaches boys' varsity basketball at the school, has instead decided to donate his salary for those two weeks - about $1,500 total - to the cemetery for upkeep.

According to The Post-Standard of Syracuse, Tice said Marsh was distraught over the controversy his actions had caused, and the coach read a statement of apology to students and parents at a meeting last night. The motivational ploy, which was to make the players feel grateful for having the opportunity to put out their best effort and resurrect their season, "caused more confusion than understanding among adolescent players," Tice said during a news conference. "The unintended consequences outweighed the intended outcome."

Tice also called the end result "an inspired solution that will lead to healing."

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