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Bullying in Sports: Fair or Foul

Brendan Clary, Staff Writer

Nov. 18, 2013

High school team accused by parent of bullying after lopsided win

aledo football
Aledo has been ranked as the top Class 4A team in the state throughout the 2013 season.

Just a little less than a month ago, the Aledo (TX) High School football team faced off against district opponent Fort Worth Western Hills. The game ended in a lopsided 91-0 victory for the Aledo Bearcats, but the victory was short lived because of what happened the next morning. Aledo head Coach Tim Buchanan received notice that a Western Hills parent had filed a bullying report against him as a result of the game.

What I find absolutely ridiculous about the whole situation is that the Western Hills coach, John Naylor, had no problem with the result. He was quoted in the Fort Worth Star Telegram as saying, "They're no. 1 for a reason, and I know coach Buchanan. We''re fighting an uphill battle right now." Another important thing to note is that Aledo pulled their starters after just 21 offensive snaps and a running clock was also implemented in the second half. Western Hills also only had 30 players on the roster for the game.

As a current football assistant and hopeful future head coach, I find nothing wrong with the way Aledo ISD and coach Buchanan handled the situation. Not once during this season has Aledo come out and said their goal was to come and embarrass their opponents by scoring as many points as possible, however is that not the entire point of the game? Football is a violent contact sport in which the goal is to dominate and overpower your opponent into submission. The goal of a safety is to "lay the wood" on a receiver coming across the middle and to intimidate that receiver into never wanting to run a crossing route again. Linemen are solely responsible for hand-to-hand combat each and every snap. The term "screws and punch" are just that. Offensive linemen are taught to smash facemasks and then punch, or extend their arms to gain an advantage over the defensive lineman.

In the end, I personally believe that this complaint holds no water. If that parent was so offended by the 91-0 loss without knowing that the Aledo coaching staff did all they knew how to do to limit further damage, then maybe football isn't the sport for them or their son. You can't win at everything and sometimes when you lose, you lose big. So, in this case, I think that the report of bullying is completely foul and unwarranted. Whether as a parent, player or coach, you know what you are getting into when you participate in a sport.

Editor's Note: The Aledo football program and coach Buchanan were found innocent of bullying charges by the Aledo ISD and by the UIL following investigations into the matter.

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