High School Football Coach Suspended for Running Up Score – Fair?

In late October, 2019, 6-0 Plainedge High School played 6-0 South Side High School. It was a battle of unbeatens. The winner had the upper hand for the conference championship and for the state playoff picture. As it turns out, it wasn’t that much of a competition. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Plainedge was up by a score of 48-13. At the end of the game, the final score was 61-13.

This, of course, is not the end of the story. Three years ago, Nassau County instituted a sportsmanship rule that was instituted to prevent “lopsided” wins. It says that any time a team wins by more than 42 points, the coach must submit a written explanation as to why he let the game get so far out of hand. Coach Shaver did submit such a letter. Evidently, the committee didn’t like his letter. They unanimously decided to suspend him for a game. The committee did not like the fact that Coach Shaver kept his starters in during the 4th quarter.

Coach Shaver, a 20 year veteran, did not agree with the ruling. He believes the rule is there to prevent powerhouses from picking on struggling teams. He said that both teams were undefeated and that South Side had come from behind to win several of their games this season. Furthermore, Plainedge has been up by 42 points in three other games this year, and if he followed the letter of the law, his starters would not get the necessary reps to prepare for the tough upcoming playoff games. Finally, South Side head coach Phil Onesto  did not have any issue with Plainedge running up the score either. “I had no issues with how he was running his team,” coach Onesto said. “Even after the game, Coach Shaver and I, we spoke and there was no bad blood. I congratulated him on the win and wished him luck next week.”

The committee answered and said that this is the precise reason this rule is in place. “Isn’t it enough to win by 30 or 40 points? Does a team have to win by 70?”  This is about sportsmanship at a scholastic level. And, besides the rule is working. Slaughters are down from two dozen a few years ago to just five last year.

Your Turn: If you were on the committee, would you have voted to suspend Coach Shaver for a game? Why or why not?

 

 

 

Comments 44

  1. no because if they were both undefeated teams then they both had a high chance of winning and the coaches even agreed that they didn’t care that the score was ran up. if you win you deserve to win all the points you can get

  2. I don’t care that the coach got suspended, I care that a ridiculous rule exists in the first place. If a team is good and better than the other, then they should be able to play to their best potential without fear that their coach will be fired. If anything match up teams based on their kill level and leave it at that.

  3. I would not have voted to suspended coach Shaver because come backs in football are completely possible. It doesn’t sound like by “running up the score” anybody was hurt due to excessive violence so it’s not like they’re intentions were to cream the other team. By coddling athletes they lose their drive and persistence to win.

  4. I would not have voted to suspend Coach Shaver for a game because he can do whatever he chooses as the coach and his explanation makes sense. It was unnecessary to run up the score so much, but he does not deserve to be suspended for this action.

  5. If I was on the committee i would not have suspended coach because the kids the other team was also 6-0 and were known to comeback late in the game, and it was also an important game for seeding purposes

  6. I would not have voted to suspended the coach because I feel his argument is stronger. If both teams were undefeated and this was supposed to be a big game, then he should have the right to keep the starters in to get more reps to prepare them for next level games.

  7. I would not have suspended Coach Shaver. Running up the score maybe against some people’s morals, but it is ultimately a part of the game. His explanation for doing so is one that is good enough to justify his actions.

  8. I would not have voted to suspend Coach Shaver for a game because he can do whatever he chooses as the coach and his explanation makes sense. It was unnecessary to run up the score so much, but he does not deserve to be suspended for this action.

  9. I wouldn’t have suspended the coach because there is no ruling saying you can’t keep your starters in against a team your up by alot against. The coach was trying to get his players be prepared for other playoff games where his starts wouldn’t be taken off, so the judgement was unfair towards the coach.

  10. I wouldn’t have suspended the coach because he was just getting his starters ready for future games where he may depend on his starters to win the game against harders teams. It was unfair against the coach

  11. There is a side when it is okay to do so. But after a certain score I feel like the coach should of settled down. Although it is a sport, and in a sport you will score but settling down might of been necessary.

  12. I would not have voted to suspend Coach Shaver for a game because he can do whatever he chooses as the coach and his explanation makes sense. It was unnecessary to run up the score so much

  13. I would not suspend the coach because in the article it said that the other coach had no issue so it was obviously not a problem to him and he can do what he wants to help his team win.

  14. i would have voted not to suspend the coach. the coach did get over 60 but they should have ended the game when he get 42.and that rule should not be aloud in the first place.the rule should be up to 75.

  15. i would have voted not to suspend the coach. the coach did get over 60 but they should have ended the game when he get 42.and that rule should not be aloud in the first place.the rule should be up to 75.

  16. I do not think Coach Shaver should have been suspended because they were playing an undefeated team. If the team would have had a bad record, that would be another story.

  17. I would not have voted to suspend the coach. He was just trying to use the game as a way to get more valuable in-game reps for his players against a quality opponent.

  18. I wouldn’t have done anything to the coach because this is how sports work. And also they want to put other players in who usually wouldn’t get playing time and if they score it’s good for their stats.

  19. I think the coach shouldn’t have been suspended just because his team got more points then the other one. The maximum points a football team should have is like 80 or something. It makes no common sense to suspend the coach for that. Kinda makes me a little weird and disappointed.

  20. I wouldn’t have suspended the coach because both teams were undefeated and you never know when a team could start to comeback and then the opposing team would have all the momentum when the starters would of had to return after taking them out because the score was somewhat lopsided.

  21. I would not suspend the coach because in the article it said that the other coach had no issue so there wasn’t a problem and he can do what he wants to help his team win.

  22. I would have not voted for the suspension because the other team should have known what they signed up for. If anything it’s builds character.

  23. I do not believe the coach deserved to get suspended because not only were both teams undefeated, but I believe the coach was instilling qualities in his players such as not being complacent and teaching them to play to win instead of playing to not lose.

  24. I think they the coach should be allowed to run the score up because it was the battle of the unbeatens and at the end of the day it is competition

  25. I would not have voted to suspend him. I don’t think a coach should be penalized because he kept his starters in and won by a large amount. This is apart of the game and teams should be free to play whoever whenever they want.

  26. I do not think he should be suspended unless he was still playing the starters. The other coach was okay with it too. Only if he was playing the backups though.

  27. No there are games where teams get up big and put in subs and the game gets out of hand and then it’s a close game again or a loss for the team way ahead. No lead is ever safe.

  28. I would not have suspended the coach. The coach has a strong counter argument which makes me believe that he was right. Even the other coach that was getting beat did not seem to care too much about the situation.

  29. I would not have voted to suspend coach Shaver. Both teams were having a good season and he was just getting his players ready for their upcoming games. In addition, the other coach said he didn’t have a problem with it. Sometimes that is just how the game works out.

  30. I would not have suspended coach Shaver. Both teams were having good seasons and he was trying to get his players ready for their upcoming games. In addition, the other teams coach said he did not have a problem with it. Sometimes that is just the way the game goes.

  31. I don’t think the coach should be suspended because the other coach said it was fair for them to run up the score. If they are really a better team they should be able to run up the score.

  32. I don’t think it was fair because he was just trying to play the game and give a good experience to his players. Plus he didn’t even leave the starters in so his team was simply put just dominant.

  33. I don’t think he should of gotten suspended because they coaches both agreed it was a good game, and they teams were both undefeated so both teams were going to play hard to win.

  34. i dont think it was right for the coach to raise up the score just because his team was about to lose the game and the were undefended and also i dont think they should do the same thing to all the sports over the one mistake the coach did. Also it would be unfair that the other sports will also have to suffer that problem over that coach’s mistake.

  35. I feel in this cause leaving the staters in was ok because if this team they were versing was a good team the tide of the game can switch within an instance even though they were up by a lot.

  36. I feel like they shouldn’t have suspended the coach because at the end of the day its just a game and it doesn’t have to become that serious unless the team cheats.One thing i don’t understand is why is that rule only in football and not in any sport. The boy in the video has a fine point because I don’t see any other coach getting suspended for something that really isn’t important it’s just football points.

  37. I would say something should be said to him but that he should not be suspended. I think that sportsmanship is a big of playing a sport and there is no reason to continuously run up the score after you have already definitely secured a win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.