Complaint of “bullying” after team’s 91-0 defeat

by Walter Olson on October 25, 2013

Ken at Popehat offers some perspective [link fixed now, thanks Hans] on the events at Aledo High School in Texas:

It’s important to point out that the report is from one angry father, not from an entire culture. The systemic issue, if there is one, is the series of laws that requires a formal investigative process no matter how facially ridiculous a complaint. Another systemic issue, if there is one, is the malleability of words like “bullying,” which can be used to pursue any sort of grievance, whether or not it is actually related to the well-being of children.

{ 8 comments }

1 Eric 10.25.13 at 4:51 pm

Headline:

Aledo ISD refutes bullying claim
District investigates, finds no wrongdoing following complaint of Western Hills parent after lopsided win

“Bullying allegations made by the parent of a Western Hills football player against Aledo ISD’s football coaching staff — after a 91-0 loss on the field Friday — are groundless according to Aledo ISD Superintendent Derek Citty, who said he is satisfied with the results of an investigation conducted by school officials.

http://weatherforddemocrat.com/top-news/x862189672/Aledo-ISD-refutes-bullying-claim

2 gitarcarver 10.25.13 at 6:43 pm

I read Ken’s post before it was posted here.

I believe that Ken misses the fact that laws come out of the culture. The reason that this law on bully exists is because we don’t teach kids how to handle bullying other than “only adults can do anything about bullying.”

The other thing is that as a sports official, I can tell you that there are lots of examples where parents get upset when their snowflake fails in a sport, a game, or a specific moment (an at bat, a free throw, a catch, etc.) Instead of teaching the child to work harder, they blame others for the child’s failure or being bested in that particular endeavor.

That is the culture which Ken believes does not contribute to a report of bullying to which a coach and a school had to respond. You have two cultures – one where parents believe their child is guaranteed success and the other where others who perform much better in a competitive situation are somehow “bullies.”

3 Rlvon 10.26.13 at 9:03 am

It’s not bullying, but it certainly is poor sportsmanship…

4 Mannie 10.26.13 at 10:29 am

I don’t see poor sportsmanship on the side of the winning team.
I see poor sportsmanship on the part of the whining puke of a father. He dishonored his kid.

The coach played the bottom of his bench. He asked for the clock to run continuously. He rotated players. He did everything but put the band and cheerleaders on the field. He considered taking the knee while in possession, but decided he would not insult the loosing team that badly.

What this does point out is that the teams were badly matched, and the need for a slaughter rule. The losing team should have been a division or two lower, or the winning team, a division or two higher.

I call for a slaughter rule because, with this degree of mismatch, it becomes a safety issue.

5 William Nuesslein 10.26.13 at 10:56 am

The score is consistent with Rlvon’s comment, the facts are not. The winning coach did what he could, short of playing the cheer leaders, to use his second and third string players.

6 gitarcarver 10.26.13 at 11:12 am

It’s not bullying, but it certainly is poor sportsmanship…

No it’s not.

Aledo put in their second and third string players starting late in the first half. Do you tell those kids not to try and do their best? Aledo’s starting running back only touched the ball 6 times, but scored on 4 of those times. Aledo made sure to take the play clock down as far as they could be snapping the ball resulting in they only ran 34 offensive plays during the game. In addition, there was a running game clock during the second half.

The opposing coach thought Aledo acted and played well within the written rules of the game and the unwritten sportsmanship rules.

So what would you have Aledo do? Kneel every time they get the ball? Yeah, that won’t embarrass the other team. Don’t play defense and let the other team score? Yeah, that won’t embarrass the other team either. Play at half speed which means a higher risk of injury? There were no reports of taunting or flags for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Aledo players or coaches.

This game was simply a case where one team was much better than the other.

Aledo did not act in an unsportsmanlike manner and it is accusations that they did which leads to parents looking to punish that team with a report of bullying or to tarnish their reputation by making an accusation they acted in an unsportsmanlike manner.

Both claims are equally bogus but I am sure someone will propose a new rule to “correct” what was never a wrong to begin with.

7 Melvin H. 10.26.13 at 11:36 pm

Some states already have “mercy rules”, depending on the sport, which either end the game after a set margin is reached (i.e. 50 points at or after halftime in football, the 10-run rule in baseball) or runs the clock (where applicable) continuously.
Maybe the name of the jerk parent who filed the complaint should be released, to shame him–like filing a false police report….(I know, the kid’s feelings might be hurt–but this was NOT a “bullying” situation by any stretch.)

8 RLVon 10.28.13 at 11:16 am

Sportsmanship is “conduct and attitude considered as befitting participants in sports, especially fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing.”

Does running up a score constitute poor sportsmanship. It can be argued that it does. A “mercy rule” does not belittle the winning team.
Was the “puke” as Mannie put it wrong in making the complaint? Yes, that showed poor sportsmanship on his part.

The game should have been called long before the score got to that point.

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