I recently finished reading Bear Bryant’s autobiography. Coach Bryant confesses paying players in his Hall of Fame coaching career because that’s what he had to do to win because everyone else at the time was paying college football players. In 2004, USC was punished for player benefits surrounding Reggie Bush. Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens have shadows over their careers due to performance enhancing drugs. The World Champion New England Patriots were caught cheating by filming practices a few years back and this season the Denver Broncos were caught filming opponent practices. Also in 2010, the New York Jets were fined for a sideline incident involving a coach and several players tripping an opponent running down the Jet’s sidelines on a special team play and now a preliminary NFL report says the Special Teams sideline antics used by the Jets might be used by other teams in the league.Wow, maybe I live in a Gomer Pyle world, and I want to believe that people are good and will do the right thing, but I am seriously questioning this reality.
Since youth sports is a microcosm of sports in general, this win at all cost attitude is in full force today. This year more than past years, I have heard more age roster cheating issues than I want to acknowledge. Not only is this cheating but it is also a safety issue and possible legal issue if anyone got seriously hurt during a game. When youth football leagues set rules for age and weight limits these are set to protect our youth football players, not so coaches can exploit the system so they can win a youth super bowl and trophy. If you want a trophy so bad, go buy a trophy. Here’s a nice link Championship Trophy so you can buy one if you really want one this bad.
Coaches, if you knowingly cheat especially on your roster age and weight limits, any game or championship you win and success gained is a lie. You are hurting yourself, the game, your players. Coaches, many times you are the only male role model for your players and unfortunately you are teaching them to grow up to be liars and cheats not football players. So, please youth coaches everywhere, do society a favor and rise above what others are doing to win and do the right thing for the game, yourself and the players. Sure they may not win the Super Bowl but they will be ready to win in the game of life.
Remember to play for fun and winning is funner!