What Should A Coach Do About This? #Sportsmanship

In late October of 2018, Zimmerman High School was beating St. Cloud Cathedral by 26 points. Late in the 4th quarter, Zimmerman running back got loose on a long touchdown run. Watching from the sidelines was Brad Reuter, senior captain for St. Cloud Cathedral. Having seen enough, he let his emotions get the best of him. He sprinted down the sidelines and entered the field of play, tackling the Zimmerman running back before he could score a touchdown.

What the Referee Did: The referee has complete discretion in this scenario. In this case, the referee decided that the running back would have scored, so they awarded Zimmerman the touchdown. No mention was made about a penalty for Brad Reuter illegally running onto the field of play.

What the Player Did: The next day Brad Reuter took to Twitter to apologize: “I’d like to formally apologize to everyone involved for my actions last night. That decision was the result of not thinking and was based and was based purely on passion, emotion, and frustration. I respect and love the game of football and I’m sorry I broke the integrity of the game. I have no good reason for what I did. I do accept what I did and the punishment that will come with it.”

What Should The Coach Do?: So, this takes us to the big question. If you were the coach, what punishments, if any, would you provide your player? Does it matter why he did it? Does it matter the context of the game or the season? You tell me. What would you have done?

Comments 152

  1. If I were the coach I would not let him play so he could be punished. Since he knew what he did was wrong and he apologized, I wouldn’t sit him for as long. What he did wasn’t right and he should know that.

    1. If I were the coach I would have had a discussion with the player asking why he did what he did. Knowing that he did apologize and acknowledge his mistakes I would sit him for a game or two just enough for him to understand it as a punishment, but short enough so he could play again.

    2. If I were the coach, I would have sat him down and talked about it with him. I feel like sometimes your mind just takes over before you actually realize what you’re doing, and I feel like in this case, that was it.

    3. If I were the coach I would have a talk with him and explain that he can’t let his emotions get the best of him and because of his actions he will sit for a couple of games.

      1. I would only take him out for one game. He should face consequences for his actions, but he also recognizes that what he did was stupid, so he doesn’t deserve to severe of a punishment.

  2. If I was the coach I would not let him play for at least two games because the player knew that running on to the field was wrong yet he still did it.

  3. If i was one of the players i would y’all to the coach and ask him to sit the kid because that’s not sportsmanship

    1. If I were the coach I would talk to the kid and say how disrespectful that is and that they know better than to do something like that. Then we’d discuss their punishment for acting out so horribly.

  4. If I were the coach I would make my player apologize personally to the team of referees, and the player. As well as apologizing he will be suspended for one game because those actions are completely uncalled for.

  5. If I were the coach I would sit him out from practice for a week and a game. He should know there will be a punishment if he would ever do something like that.

  6. The coach should not let the player play for at least two games because the player knew that by running onto the field he would be in trouble and he did it anyways.

  7. If I were the coach would not let the player play for at least two games because the player knew that by running onto the field he would be in trouble and he did it anyways.

  8. If I was the coach I’d sit down and a have a conversation with the athlete. We would discuss the punishment and I would ask the athlete if he thinks he deserves a punishment.

  9. If I were the coach I would sit the player for a few games and have a discussion with him about his mistake. I think that what he did definitely does matter because it shows his personality as a player.

  10. If I were the coach I would not let him play for only a couple games since he did realize what he did and he apologized.

  11. If I was the coach , I would not punish him as of running, I would punish him in a way of sitting one game out and going up to the coach and player with a nice apology.

  12. If I were the coach I would sit him for a couple of games. Even though he did apologize he still needs a punishment but maybe just not as long. I would make sure to talk to him one on one so he knows what he did was wrong.

  13. The player knows that he did something wrong, and I respect that. However, I would feel that the player must be punished accordingly for his action. Him knowing that he did it doesn’t account for the fact that he did do it. I would suspend him for a lest four to five more games that season.

  14. If I was coach, I would bench the player only for the next game. He already knew what he did wrong but I would have to make an example of him so other players would not get out of line also.

  15. If I were the coach, I would punish the kid because he did something wrong, but I wouldn’t have made it hard cause it didn’t cost them the game plus he knew he did something wrong.

  16. If I was the coach I would make that player sit out for the next game or two as well as be dismissed from a couple of incoming practices .

  17. If I was the coach, I would sit the player for 3 games and he wouldn’t practice. I would have the player write an apology to the team and the school they played. What he did was extremely unsportsmanlike and should not be tolerated.

  18. It’s clear the player was remorseful however, he needs to understand that the player he tackled could have been really hurt and the overall situation could have been much worse. He should have to sit out the next game and be told if it happens again he will be removed from the team.

  19. If I were the coach, I wouldn’t punish him during practice, I would have him apologize in person and possibly sit a game. It does matter what he did, but he realized what he did wrong and took to social media to try and correct what he did.

  20. I would not let the kid play in the next five games and let him watch without wearing his uniform so he can watch from the stands instead.

  21. I think I would talk to the player and make sure they understand that they need to keep their emotion controlled. I would probably make them sit for a part of the next game so they know that what they did was not okay and the other players know that if they do that there will be punishment.

  22. Since the player knew what he did was wrong i would sit him for a half and then let him play and if he commits any other unsportsmanlike conduct higher punishments would be held

  23. If I were the coach, I would make sure this player fully understand the fault in his actions, and I would sit him for at least a game.

  24. If I were a coach I would bench him for a few games. Whether it was an important game for his team or not, as a senior captain he should’ve been respectful of the opposing team and recognized that it was really unsportsmanlike.

  25. If I were a coach, I wouldn’t let him play for a a least 2 games and would give him a good talk about sportsmanship and what it means to be a senior leader.

  26. As the coach, I would be proud that my player cares so much. But with that said, I would force him to sit out a game and teach him how to properly show his passion.

  27. If I were a coach, I would have him sit out of a couple games that come after. I understand why he did it and sometimes my emotions overtake my actions, but every action comes with a consequence.

  28. I think the player should have to sit a half for the next game and do lots of conditioning. It doesn’t matter the circumstances, he screwed up and has to be held accountable.

  29. I would make him run for a week with that poor sportsmanship behavior plus not letting him play until he proves me wrong.

  30. If I were the coach I would have a heart to heart discussion with the kid and discuss why what he did was wrong and how can he can improve from this mistake. I would then proceed to have the athlete write the athlete he tackled an apology letter. I would most definitely sit the kid for at least 2 games for his action.

  31. If I were the coach, I would have a sit down talk with the player about the actions he did, and I would sit the player for a couple of games.

  32. He should be sat out for the next game and the couch needs to keep a closer eye on him to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  33. If I were the coach I would have a private talk with him at one of the practices held. Though he had apologized in advance and was aware of his wrongful actions, as the coach I would give him a punishment of sitting him out at least a couple of games. He must attend practices and participate, as the coach I would have him do any kind of extra work such as running extra laps, doing extra cardio, ect.

  34. I would talk to the player first, have him sit out one game based upon his actions and for him to learn, and then move on.

  35. If I were the coach, I would discuss with the player and tell him what he did wrong. For a punishment I would not let the player participate in a few games.

  36. If I were the coach I would suspend the player or kick them off the team. I would do this because the player represents the program and it’d you are not acting with respect, integrity, and the other values that are important to the program, then he does not deserve to wear the jersey and play for the team since he does not understand the importance of being on the team and acting respectfully to represent his school and program.

  37. If I were the coach I would definitely bench the player for a couple of games considering he made a public apology already. I would make sure he understands what he did was wrong but also don’t punish him too much because his apology shows that he recognizes he did something wrong

  38. In Indiana the ihsaa has a sportsmanship course online for people who do things that are along the lines of this, so have him complete that and then make sure he truly knows what he did was wrong.

  39. If I were the coach I would punish the player by making him miss a practice or something small like that. People make mistakes and I don’t think he had any awful intention, he was just caught in the heat of the moment and made a mistake, as every person does, so I don’t think a big punishment would be necessary

  40. If I was the coach I would first have a meeting with him and his family letting him know that his actions were not right and that they come with a consequence. I would not let him dress for the next 3 games and I would make him write a letter to both his school and the other school they were playing.

  41. I would not punish the kid because he was just showing passion and helping out his teammates even though he wasn’t suppose to

  42. If I were the coach I would pull him out and sit him for a while then after a while I would let him play as long as he gives 110% effort

  43. i would have a talk with him. i wouldn’t sit him but i would make him run and run at practice. personally i hate running so that would be a good enough punishment. but of ones mistake you are punishing the whole time, how is that fair?

  44. If i were the coach i would have him sit out of some games. I would also talk to him and have him apologize to the player he tackled and the other coach.

    1. If I was the coach I would give the punishment of making him sit out on a few games and have him apologize personaly to all of the teams that were affected. It matter why he did it because he did it for a good reason. It matter by the context of the game because it wasn’t fair for the other team playing.

  45. I think what the player did was totally unsportsmanlike and he should be off the team. He obviously knew the rules and acted upon his emotions without thought, and at that age he should have known much better

  46. If I was the coach I would talk to him and ask him why he did what he did. Then have him apologize to the team and have him sit for a week.

  47. If I was the coach, I would have a discussion with my player and reasonable find an agreement between my player that satisfies my teams standard

  48. If I were the coach, I would make that player sit out at the next few games. I would also make them run extra at practices.

  49. The coach should make the player sit out the next game. The player already knows that there will be a punishment, so I don’t think he should have to sit out longer because he already knows what he did was wrong.

  50. I would kick the player off of the team because what he did was selfish and had no positive impact on the game. The other team would have scored weather or not he interfered in the game. The player needs to have better mental toughness.

  51. If I were the coach, I would not let the player play for a few games and have a very long talk with him about sportsmanship and how to be a good team leader.

  52. If I were the coach in this situation, I would turn in my player to the school as well as not play him. His team was already winning, and one rightfully earned touchdown would have not of affected that.

  53. If I was the coach I would make him sit the bench for 2 or 3 games. The worst punishment is going to be him watching his teammates struggle to tackle the other team when they are heading for a touchdown. That is exactly what got him angry and he did what he did so a good punishment would be him having to go through that experience again and learn self control.

  54. If I was the coach, I probably wouldn’t allow the offender to play again that game. Or maybe even the rest of the season. His family would be notified and I would talk to him about it. That much anger shouldn’t be over a point.

  55. I feel that he knows what he did wrong but he let his emotions take action, he should still be punished but since he realized his mistakes he should be punished for long!

  56. he let his emotions take action, he should still be punished but since he realized his mistakes he should be punished for long!

  57. If I were the coach, I would have a private conversation with him and just talk about what happened. I would want to hear what was going through his mind in that moment, and why he could not control it. I would then help him learn how to control it, and give him his punishment.

  58. If I were the coach I would make him sit out and miss practice. I wouldn’t kick him off though because he knows what he did was wrong

  59. If I were the coach I would make him sit out a few games and miss practice. I wouldn’t kick him off though because he knows what he did was wrong

  60. if i were the coach , me and the player would have to talk about his actions and what we can do to make sure he doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him , he would have to sit at least a game to make sure he knows his actions have consequences

  61. I think the coach should sit down with him, talk about, and then have him apologize to the team in person. Afterwards, making him run laps would probably be best because that at least helps him in positive terms, at least in cardio. Sitting him out during a game doesn’t really do any good.

  62. If I were the coach, I would sit the player the next game, and during practice have a conversation with him asking and taking about his actions. Because I know that he is passionate about the game, I wouldn’t make the consequences very severe, but some action needs to be put in place so that he doesn’t do it in the future.

  63. If I was the coach I would not let him play the rest of that game and not have him playing any other games for the rest of the season. As well as I will talk to him about what he did and talk to his family.

  64. If I were the coach I would’ve had sat him down and talk to him directly and what his response to that would decide or not if he was on the team.

  65. If I were the coach I would talk to the player about why he did it so I could see into his mindset a little more. I would also sit him for a game or two to make sure that he won’t do anything like that again.

  66. If I were the coach, I would sit him the next game, but talk to him privately about his actions and why he choose do it. As a the senior captain, you have been given the job from the coach to set an example on the team as a coachable leader. Therefore, it is important that you follow that role and you shouldn’t have to be reminded to carry your program.

  67. If I were the coach, I would have talked to the player and thanked him for taking the initiative to apologize on his own. Then, I would discuss consequences with the player. I would make him explain to his teammates that his behavior was wrong, since he is the captain. Then, I would make him sit out a couple games.

  68. If I were the coach in this situation, I would sit this player for a game or two. I would also talk to the player in practice to see what was going through his mind during that time, to see it it was really out of passion for the game or anger at his teammates. Either way, what he did was wrong and I would let him know that, even though it may have just been in the heat of the moment.

  69. If I were the coach, I would suspend the player from the next two games, and can only provide help to the team through being a manager. I would approve of the players actions to apologize.

  70. If I were the coach I’d bench home for the next 3-4 weeks. That is uncalled for and makes the whole team look bad. I’d be embarrassed if I were a part of that team.

  71. If i was the coach in that situation the player that had done the action would not have been able to play for 2-3 games and would have extra conditioning during practice

  72. I think the player should serve a suspension like a 3 game because that is not showing good sportsmanship to their team or the opposing team

  73. If I were the coach I would talk to the player and see why he did it. I may if his response was not good enough make him not dress the next game.

  74. I would tell him that you are not playing for the rest of the game . I would give him a long talk and let his parents know as well .

  75. If I were the coach I would bench him so he could learn his lesson. He said he loves the game this would be a way to punish him by not letting him play.

  76. If I were the coach in this case. I would have a discussion with the kid and try to fully understand the reason for the actions he did. Knowing that he knew what he did was wrong would cost him some extra conditioning at the end of practice that week, but I don’t feel like he deserves to be sat for that.

  77. If I was the coach I would talk to my player. Yes he made a mistake, but he had the right intentions. If i were the coach I would attempt to take away the touchdown. If it was not earned fairly it wasn’t earned at all.

  78. If I was the coach then I would most likely sit the player for a game, but then let him play. After all, he apologized and explained the situation.

  79. If I were the coach I would not let him play because he deserves to be punished for what he did. He needs to learn how to show good sportsmanship.

  80. If I were the coach I would bench him because he should keep he’s anger in instead of getting so mad that he runs out and does that. The coach should not let him play until he realizes that he can’t do that.

  81. If I were the coach I would make the player sit for a couple games so he realizes what he did was wrong. But then because he apologized allow him to play at a later date.

  82. If I were the coach, I would have made the player sit out for maybe one game. But since he apologized, he doesn’t deserve that bad of a punishment.

  83. If I was the coach I would make sure that the player is punished, maybe sitting out for 1 to 3 games. Since he apologized it’s better than it could’ve been.

  84. I feel that the referee made the right call. The coach should of punished the player because we have learned from a young age to have good sportsmanship and by high school you should know that doing that is not ok.

  85. I think that the referee should have called the player that ran on the field for an illegal run. I think this because he did not show good sportsmanship and should learn to keep to himself even if he is frustrated. I also think that the other team should have gotten the point.

  86. I as a player would not have done anything but watch him score the touchdown. This would help me have motivation to get better. As a coach I would be aggravated that a senior would take such action and I would suspend for at least one game.

  87. If I was the coach I would suspend the player until the end of the season for his actions as well as removing him from the team because of the fact that his actions reflect the football teams actions

  88. If i was the coach I would make him miss at most 2 games. This is because even though what he did was wrong, we all make mistakes.

  89. If I were the coach I would not let him play in the next game or two. He was a senior captain so he knew that he was wrong and he still did it anyways. He was also setting a bad example for the other players. He was a captain so the players looked up to him.

  90. If I were the coach I would pull him aside and talk to him to see what was going through his head in the heat of the moment. Then I would sit him for a game or two because he did apologize and he knows what he did wasn’t right or legal in terms of the football rules but he did acknowledge what he did and took full responsibility of it so the punishment wouldn’t be as long as another scenario

  91. I think that he had a well written apology, but he caused his school and team embarrassment and interfered with the game so he shouldn’t play for at least a couple games, if any.

  92. If I was the coach I would’ve pulled him aside and ask him what was going on with him. Then I would’ve sat him 2 to 3 games and tell him to apologize to the coach and the team.

  93. If I were the coach I would suspend the player for how long I think it should be. It does matter bc it is showing bad sportsmanship and represents the team poorly.

  94. I would want the kid to go and apologize to his team and maybe the referee’s. He should sit a game or two so he realizes the disrespect he displayed.

  95. If I were the coach, I would bench the player for awhile so he can reflect on his actions. No player should be able to get away with running on the field and not get punished for it. The reasons as to why he did it doesn’t matter. What does matter, is the fact that he ran on the field and disobeyed the sportsmanship/ game rules.

  96. I think that coach should suspend him for a certain amount of games and give him a task to complete that he must complete by a certain date in order to be put back on the team

  97. If I were the coach, I would talk to the player after the game, after he has calmed down. I don’t think I would let him play during the rest of that game because he shouldn’t be rewarded for his actions, but I wouldn’t hold it against him forever.

  98. If I were the coach, I would give the player at least the next game off. I would then give the entire team a session on sportsmanship. Once the player agreed to show better sportsmanship, I would let him play again.

  99. If I was the coach I would sit him until he said he was sorry then I would make him formally say sorry to everyone on the other team one by one.

  100. I would suspend the player for at least two games, and have a conversation with him about how the field of play can be emotional a lot of the time, but you have to learn that you can not always act on them right as they are trying to control you.

  101. I would punish the player by having him sit the next two or three weeks. During that time I would let him practice with the team but i would bit allow him to be on the sidelines with his team for at least one of those games.

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