When I read that nine high school football players would miss the rest of their season after attending the Phillies victory parade, I mistakenly assumed that they were still trapped under flipped cars. But it’s because of one Vince Lombardi-wannabe who chose to punish the kids for joining the 40 percent of Philadelphia-area students who skipped school on Friday.
(That college scholarship is going, going…gone!)
Hatboro-Horsham coach Tom Butts dismissed the players from the team, causing them to miss the homecoming game, only the biggest day of the year for a high school football player. The punishment seems a little harsh, but Butts’ justification seems intended to guilt the players even further. Remember, he’s not mad, he’s just disappointed:
“We sat down all of the players beforehand and told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to honor their commitment to the team,” Butts said. “That commitment started way back in January, with off-season conditioning.”
In a bit of karma, the team lost that night by two points - maybe those nine players could have made the difference for the Hatters. (Hatboro is so named because an early resident made hats; you learn these things when you date someone from there.)
But Butts seems determined to play the role of the cross-yet-loving father, who you may despise now but will grow to understand why he had to be so strict:
“I’m not mad at the players, but I’m disappointed in the decision they made,” Butts said. “And, as with life, there are sometimes repercussions for the things we do.”
Yeah, like inevitably having your car keyed by the dismissed players.