(TODAY) - A Utah high school football coach suspended his entire team recently, and it had nothing to do with their performance on the field.
Matt Labrum, the head coach at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah, benched all 50 of his players last weekend because of character issues. Fed up with poor grades, attendance and attitude problems, in addition to learning that one or two players may have been involved in cyber-bullying another student, Labrum ordered all of his players to turn in their jerseys and equipment following a loss to Judge Memorial Catholic on Sept. 20.
"We felt like our respect level for our students and to the teachers and things weren't what we wanted that to be,'' Labrum told TODAY's Joe Fryer Thursday.
The players were given a letter signed by the coaching staff with a list of requirements they needed to fulfill if they wanted to play again. They had to take part in two days of community service, from gardening to window-washing, and complete a character education class. They also had to attend all of their classes without being late to any of them, and those with poor grades had to show improvement in order to get their places back on the team.
The team also elected new captains at a meeting, with only two of the seven captains chosen in the preseason being re-elected. The players are now preparing for their homecoming game against Emery High School on Friday night.
"We've cleaned up our act,'' sophomore player Karter Rook told TODAY.
On Wednesday night, most of the players got their jerseys back during a team meeting, but 10 players did not because they failed to meet the requirements. The tough love was welcomed by the players' parents.
"You're held up to a higher standard, and your behavior better be up to snuff,'' Jennifer Rook, Karter's mother, told TODAY.
"It really brought us back down to earth, and I think it got people to do what they needed to do,'' Karter said.
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
Investigators looking for Modesto Cortes-Serillo who's suspected of gunning down a man after an argument is believed to be hiding out in Mexico. According to the Yuma Police Department their investigationMore >>
Man accused of killing a man outside a Yuma restaurant reached to children for help; now brother and sister are in jail. More >>
Judge Jorge Lozano has just announced that he plans on running for Superior Court Judge; the 38 year old Justice of the Peace has been serving Somerton and San Luis for the past eight years and believesMore >>
South County Judge seeking a higher callingMore >>
Midnight last night was the last chance to vote for NASA's newest prototype: a spacesuit design that will eventually go to Mars. In 2012, NASA released the Z-1, which looks strikingly similar to BuzzMore >>
NASA asked the public for help in choosing their future space suit. More >>
YUMA, AZ (13 On Your Side) - Over the past month there have been a string of convenience store robberies around town. Most recently, one suspect - who police say - robbed three Circle Ks within 48 hours.More >>
Over the past month there have been a string of convenience store robberies around town.More >>
Yuma Police investigators have released more images of the man they believe is responsible for a string of robberies. According to YPD the man scene in these images robbed three convenient stores at gunMore >>
Police still need help finding man suspected of robbing three convenient stores at gun point.More >>
Wellton, Ariz. – Two separate exposure incidents have resulted in arrests in Wellton. Police say after a two week long covert investigation ending on July 28th, officers of the Wellton Police DepartmentMore >>
Two separate exposure incidents have resulted in arrests in Wellton. Police say after a two week long covert investigation ending on July 28th, officers of the Wellton Police Department were able to identify and locate a suspect they say had been exposing himself to people out walking for exercise in the early morning hours.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>