How far can a high school coach go when disciplining an athlete?
That’s a question that is widely debated as coaches under constant pressure from parents to have the best interests of their kids in mind.
The problem of course comes when parents and coaches have differing views on what proper discipline looks like.
Add a layer of social media scrutiny to it as well and a brief sideline screaming contest quickly goes viral.
That’s exactly what happened this past weekend with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer.
The now Lipscomb Academy high school football coach was seen berating one of his players on the sidelines during a blowout win on Friday night.
Trent Dilfer doesn’t like when his high school players talk back at him 😳 pic.twitter.com/xZA15WHVhn
— BroBible (@BroBible) August 28, 2021
The kid in the video is the team’s starting tight end, Beau Dawson.
That name should look familiar for those in northeast Ohio.
Turns out, he is the son of former Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson.
As one could guess, people have split opinions on the video and Dilfer’s actions.
Did He Go Too Far?
As the video shows, there is quite a bit of yelling along with physical contact from Dilfer.
Usually, a coach can scream until they are blue in the face. No one seems to think twice about it.
However, once a coach touches a kid, things change. Folks look at the situation differently.
At the high school level, it gets complicated since it’s adults interacting with kids.
As someone who grew up with some boisterous coaches, I personally have no problem with the yelling.
Talking back to the head coach, as Beau did, is guaranteed to land some sort of punishment.
Again, it is the pushing and shoving that many seem to take issue with.
Clevelanders may take some exception to this, as Phil was a beloved member of the Browns for so many years.
But, Phil’s likely had a million and stories to tell Beau over the years about some crazy incidents he saw during his playing days.
If there’s a kid who can handle this kind of discipline from a coach, it’d be the son of a former NFL player.
Trent has since addressed the incident that occurred and offered some remorse regarding the situation.
“First and foremost, I take full responsibility as the head coach and leader of our team for not deescalating an emotional situation with one of our players, Beau Dawson. Beau is one of our finest student athletes and embodies all the characteristics we are looking for in our Mustang players… During a moment of frustration and in an attempt to get our team to play with more discipline, I unfairly singled Beau out. Somehow Beau has been portrayed publicly as the culprit in this situation, when in reality, I should have been a better leader and shown greater wisdom and discernment in how I handled this incident.”
A statement from our Head Coach Trent Dilfer on the viral video going around #BeSetApart pic.twitter.com/uzS1DFt03D
— Lipscomb Academy Football (@LAmustangFB) August 29, 2021
What Do You Think?
The social media debated surrounding this incident have been interesting the past few days.
Some believe Dilfer needs more punishment while others think it’s ludicrous he even had to usher an apology.
Some of the replies to the tweet below will offer some differing schools of thought.
So…we gonna have an honest conversation as coaches about the Trent Dilfer video, or we just gonna ignore it?
— Dustin Mills (@dustinwmills) August 29, 2021
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below!
Touching is unacceptable. However, so is telling back to a coach. It’s a wash of athletic proportions.
First of all the player needs to respect the coach and shut up and listen. The coach wouldn’t have to push him in the direction of the bench if he listens. End of story.
Ruben Montes says
No coach should be able to put there hands on any minor athlete male or female no matter the situation. He should be fired.
Ratza Fratza says
What a classless ugly thing. I hate people who feel the need to yell, at kids esp.
Fred Abbamonte says
Coaches are wrong if this happens but they are people and they usually have the best interest of the team at heart. I have been part of and seen this back in the day and the attitude by me and my own father was “What happens on the field stays on the field” We didn’t complain to our parents. It was a momentary laps in judgement and it di no permanent damage. This coach is most probably an excellent disciplinarian and molder of young men 99% of the time. He got it wrong that day. He is human and I am sure there is a TON of mutual respect between him and the student athlete. He didn’t strike the kid. He was pushing him towards the bench because the kid wouldn’t listen and sit down. He was too rough with him but its a rough sport and a tough world and its part of the coaches job to mold boys into men. As men we all get it wrong sometimes and this is an opportunity for the student to show grace which I am certain he did. I am also certain that in the locker room the coach addressed this with the player one on one. At the end of the day if the player and his parents are ok with it everyone else should mind their own business. This happens in every locker room I have ever been in and it ha a way of working itself out for the better. Its about passion. Dilfer has always been a class act throughout his professional career. Don’t take this opportunity to encapsulate him as a man or his character. Its ne moment in a life long body of work.