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Lessons abound in discipline of Greenbrier soccer players

Posted: March 21, 2013 - 9:05am  |  Updated: March 23, 2013 - 11:06pm
More than a dozen Greenbrier High School soccer players have been suspended from school and kicked off the team after being caught drinking on a team trip.  Jim Blaylock
Jim Blaylock
More than a dozen Greenbrier High School soccer players have been suspended from school and kicked off the team after being caught drinking on a team trip.

In light of the disciplinary actions against members of the Greenbrier boys soccer team for taking alcohol on a team trip and consuming the alcohol in their hotel rooms, here are my 2 cents on the matter.

For all I know, each of the parents involved will handle this matter perfectly. They will support their child, but also take into account that the players did the misdeed here. Anytime something like this arises, some are quick to point fingers and make accusations about the coaches and staff overseeing the students.

Well, it is fine to investigate the matter. It is perfectly reasonable to want an explanation of what occurred. However, please think twice before placing blame on anyone other than those who acquired and consumed the alcohol. I would have a different take if we were talking about elementary age kids, but these are, for the most part, high school upperclassmen. They know right from wrong. They are fully aware it is illegal for them to possess and drink alcohol. They are also fully aware that taking it on a team trip is a huge violation of school and team policy.

Some people might say, “Where were the coaches when this occurred?” I have a likely answer. In their hotel room. You see, just as parents have to trust the coach with their child, the coach has to place his trust in these young people, too.

Sure, in almost all cases coaches will tell them to be on their best behavior, they will do a bed check, maybe have a lights-out time established. However, there is no way they can stop a group that has decided and is determined to break rules. If the athletes involved were reasonably quiet so not to wake the coaching staff or bother other guests, what need would the coach have to come to their rooms in the middle of the night? He trusts that his team is doing what they have been told and what they know to be right.

Obviously, young people are not always going to toe the line, but that does not mean we should look elsewhere to place blame.

Other people might say “boys will be boys.” I understand that mind-set. I do think in our society we have gotten overly sensitive, to the point of silliness, with some of our rules and regulations. However, this is not one of those silly rules. Many bad things can happen when alcohol and young people are involved. I was no angel when I was a young athlete, and I am sure these are all good kids, but they did something stupid – and when you do something stupid you have to face the consequences.

The players knew they were breaking team rules and violating school policy. They did not think they would get caught. Well, to all young athletes reading this column, you will get caught. In this age of social media, if three or four people know about an incident, you can bet that number will be multiplied by 100 as fast as someone can reach for an iPhone.

Now, because of their ill-advised decision, a team’s terrific season is likely ruined. A highly thought of, and successful, coach is under the microscope, and a school is going to be in the press for all the wrong reasons. I have no idea what the punishment will be for these players. Their 2013 soccer season is over, that is for sure. For the seniors involved, that is punishment enough.

What about senior players that had a chance to secure a scholarship as Greenbrier made its way to the state playoffs? They will learn a lesson that will stay with them forever.

Hopefully, the players are not the only ones who learn from this.

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Comments (12)


Obvious Bias

I think you stated the issue simply when you said "boys will be boys." Just that simple statement requires some leadership from the coach and chaperones, knowing that boys will be boys. Like you said, "just as parents trust the coach," maybe the coach shouldn't have been in his room, but checking on his charges and ensuring their safety. The kids were absolutely wrong for their actions and should be held accountable, but letting the coach off the hook is ridiculous. That's like saying leaders have no responsibility for the actions of their subordinates. You can bet the Greenbrier principal would be held accountable if his teachers "went wild" at a conference.


Read my column again

My column states "other people might say, boys will be boys." And, yes I am somewhat biased in instances like this. I will usually side with the person that has dedicated their live to working with our young, unless I have been given a reason not to.


What do you expect

What do you want, the coach to put an adult in every room. Like this would eliminate any wrong doing. You can only set the rules down and expect the players to abide by them. I commend the coach for the suspensions. This has been going on for a long time and just never brought to the light. I remember a couple of years ago when the same thing happened and nothing was done. That's the problem, " they won't do anything to us we are a winning team or I am a star of this team." Any one that violates any team rules should be disciplined now so they learn there is consequences before they get to the college level and their future is ruined. Kudos to the coach you stood your ground.



DawgsonTop13 hit the nail on the head- these kids knowingly and willingly planned this- teens have pulled the wool over the eyes of parents and teachers since the beginning of time- they deserve to take responsibility for this and no one else- every kid at GHS is warned, made to sign understanding of the rules at the beginning of every year and then repeatedly made to do it for every trip they take- Chaperones/teachers check their rooms, make sure they are in and safe and then they are allowed to sleep - there is a level of trust there that these kids violated and this falling on the coach is ridiculous. I will never take kids out of town again.These kids ought to be ashamed of the crap that will now fall down on the people who work for about 1.00$ an hour for days on end to make sure they have the opportunity to play a sport.

Right on

Let's start with the parents

Let's start with the parents and work our way up to the kids/young adults. Parents are the role models which mold these kids/young adults. Where do kids get the booze as they are way under 21. From thier parents or their parent's stashes. Maybe if the parents were better role models, they would not break rules which they are keenly aware of.This is the problem with society. We need better role models!!!


Sorry for the double post

Sorry for the double post above! I didn't think my first post took since there is a significant delay between submitting it and it actually showing up.


Please just stop.

First of all... Before immediately skipping to accusations about where the blame should be put, which is the only thing any of you are considering... maybe you should consider the circumstances as a whole. Does it matter where the blame goes? For any of you NO. For all of these boys and the coaches, YES. "Boys will be boys." PRECISELY... which is why they thought it was super cool to bring alcohol on a trip and drink it. Should they take blame? Absolutely. Should the coaches? Absolutely. No there should not be a coach in every room. YES, they should sit in the hallways until all the boys have gone to bed and are quiet just like any other school trip and any summer camp program does. Little do any of you know, the coaches are more to blame than being let up about. The coaches knew what was going on and refused to face the fact. Texts were being sent to staff members questioning it as the boys were posting it to social media. How dare any of you say that the parents should be better role models. If a 17 year old boy tries a shot of alcohol with 17 other of his best friends, then if you ask me his parents brought him up right. Boys are notorious for not considering consequences before actions... its just not something that can be drilled in their brains. This doesn't necessarily mean they gave into peer pressure, it means they are a normal curious teenager and any of you would have done the same as a teen. Most of you did, you just didn't get caught. "teach your kids to take responsibility," that is the most ignorant comment on here. The kids are taking responsibility. The coaches are the ones cowardly backing down when they knew what was going on in the rooms and on the bus. I know this for an absolute fact. Consider these things before you ridicule the parents, who are awesome, and the boys, who are being teenager. kudos to them. Shame on the coaches for not standing by their boys in this time when they could have stopped it in the first place. Pathetic if you ask me.


Blaming parents?

There's a lot of things that can rightly be blamed on parents, but this probably isn't one of them. I say this as a child that was raised by non smoking/non drinking parents. I still managed to pick up a fifteen year smoking habit at 15 and I'd be a liar if I said I never drank as a teen. All under the watch of older parents that really did stay on top of me the best that they could. Today I have 3 teenage boys. 19, 17, 16. Have I caught them with alcohol? Yes. Funny though with your philosophy as I do not drink nor have alcohol in my home at any time. Are they likely to do it again? Probably. They'll just get better at hiding it. Point is...kids are going to do what they want. You can have the best parent(s) that are involved in their kid's lives and things such as this happen. Isn't always the parents fault. How they handle it is.


you are correct

You are totally correct. It is not the parents fault, but it sure as heck is not the coaches fault also. NO matter what you do with teenagers they are going to make mistakes. It is our job as parents and coaches to hold them accountable ,not go around and look for excuses why they did it.


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Soccer's always play this

Soccer's always play this game in a very advantageous way. Most of them are definitely blaming the parents. I would also recommend academic writing service to all those students. All players are doing their best .