BY CAMRYN LELAND
During the senior football retreat, 10 football players were suspended for breaking the athletic code of conduct at the retreat. Their suspension lasted for the first four weeks of football season as well as three days of in school suspension. The retreat took place Aug. 15-17, 2014. Coaches chaperone the players as they go to help build the team’s bonding as well as focus on setting season goals.
Instead on focusing on the negative and obvious implications of the situation, what needs to be understood is that there are a lot of positives that came from it as well. After talking to Principal Cindy Schubert, the Athletic Director Mr. Brigham Baker, and a few football players that were at the retreat but did not partake in the incident, the main message from all of them is that this was a growing experience for each of the boys.
“Ultimately, they (players who were caught) know what the guidelines are and they know what is right and wrong,” stated Schubert.
The boys were given their suspensions immediately after reviewing the protocol. As Schubert said, the players were able to make the responsible decisions and are all capable of making right and wrong decisions. They made the wrong decision. This decision, however, has impacted their lives for the better. Breaking the athletic code of conduct was not acceptable but due to their actions, the players have learned life lessons that will shape them as individuals.
“For some of them, this is the first time they have had to be responsible for their actions,” said Baker. “This is the message we want to teach [accountability].”
Baker believes this situation was a teaching moment that will help shape these players for the future. They have been attending all practices and were able to play during the game on Sept. 26.
In response to Steven Moos’ statement to The Oregonian regarding the “lack of supervision,” both Schubert and Baker had cleared up any allegations. Both had different responses but agreed on one thing, Coach Coury and his staff are not responsible for what these players did.
“If I was to guess, I do not think that the level of supervision would be an issue,” emphasized Baker. “His [Moos] questioning to Coach Coury’s supervision would be no different than us questioning his parental supervision.”
Baker’s point is valid in reasoning. Moos was not at the retreat and would have not known the parameters of the supervision. Illegal substances were not a the retreat prior to when the boys arrived therefore, it would be the lack of parental supervision before they left These players are given trust and it is solely up to them on how they choose to handle it.
“I’ve supervised trips for 30 years and you can’t be with students every second and they need to understand the guidelines. It’s not something the coaches abused at all,” replied Schubert.
There is a level of trust given with students and student athletes. Every year the players sign a new contract going over the district’s policies and regulations. They know what impact their issues have and need to be willing to see the consequences before they make decisions.
The senior football retreat is a great way for the athletes and students to build and gain in gearing up for the season. Due to this incident there is now a precedent for future players and making good decisions, as well as some players who may not have received playing time had the opportunity to showcase what they could do.
“It was a great opportunity to see what other players had to prove as well.” said Baker, “Overall, this situation was a good lesson taught and does not change how well the players are doing.”