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A Utah high school football coach decided to teach his unruly players a lesson – and suspended all 80 of them.
According to Utah's Deseret News, Roosevelt's Union High School head football coach, Matt Labrum, was fed up with his players' cyberbullying tendencies and poor academic performance.
“The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field. We want student-athletes that are humble to learn and grow through adversity and success on and off the field,” Labrum wrote in a letter.
Fox News further reports that after the team's game last Friday, Labrum forced all the players to turn in their jerseys and equipment and told them that they would have to earn their spot on the field once again.
Players were given several choices to get back in the coach's good graces, and in turn, the team. These options included community service participation, extra study hall hours and character-education classes. Labrum is even making them write a report on the consequences of their actions.
"It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn't want our young men going," Labrum said. “We looked at it as a chance to say, ‘Hey, we need to focus on some other things that are more important than winning a football game.”
Many players have already earned back their place on the team again, and the team is still scheduled to play its homecoming game on Friday. The coach is happy with his decision, and reports that his players have already learned so much. “We got an emotional response from the boys. I think it really meant something to them, which was nice to see that it does mean something.”