High School Football Coach Brings Kids to a Graveyard, Parents Flip Out

MARCELLUS, N.Y. (AP) — A junior varsity football coach suspended for making his players lie down in a central New York cemetery as a post-defeat motivational ploy said he borrowed the idea from a pivotal scene in the 2000 Denzel Washington film “Remember the Titans.”

Craig Tice, superintendent of the Marcellus school district outside Syracuse, announced Thursday that coach Jim Marsh has been suspended for two weeks without pay for last weekend’s spur-of-the-moment stop at a rural cemetery.

Marsh’s team was returning from a loss last Saturday at neighboring Skaneateles when he had the bus pull over at a cemetery and told the 24 players to lie down between rows of graves. The coach then talked to them about the importance of playing hard.

Tice said some of the players, who were still in uniform, laid down on top of graves at St. Francis Xavier cemetery, near the Marcellus school campus 12 miles southwest of Syracuse. Some parents complained to school officials after being told by the players what had occurred…

Marsh offered to resign as coach but Tice said he refused to accept it…

Marsh offered to donate two weeks of coaching salary, $750, to the cemetery for upkeep of the grounds, the superintendent said.

The suspension has no bearing on Marsh’s job as English teacher at the Marcellus high school or his role as the coach of the school’s boys’ varsity basketball team, Tice said.

“I do not regret the message of asking players and students to give all that they have for themselves, their peers, and their community,” Marsh said in his statement. “I do not regret telling my students, my players, to be resilient when faced with challenges, to accept the responsibility for your actions, and to handle these things with class and dignity.”

What’s happening here? Two lobsters, Caster and Little Caster, went to this high school, Marcellus…so they brought this to my attention. Caster is clearly disappointed, having thought he’s “from an area where locals have the character and toughness to be accepting, even encouraging, of this type of behavior.” Apparently not. “I mean, we get 60 days of sun per year!!!…gloom is in our blood. To find out we are this type of pampered ninnies is quite discouraging.” Right? Well put. Upstate New York… I thought you a.holes were tougher than this? This is the kinda crap I’d expect here in California… parents getting their panties in a bunch over something ridiculous.  The only thing this coach should be ashamed of is being unoriginal. He jacked a scene from one of the most inspiring and popular sports movies in history. Anybody complain when this went down in the movie? This guy got suspended?! Really? He even offered to resign and pay two weeks salary for “upkeep” of the cemetery? That’s crazy talk. These parents are clowns. Get over your damn selves. If you raised winners, these kids wouldn’t have been in the damn graveyard in the first place.


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13 Responses to High School Football Coach Brings Kids to a Graveyard, Parents Flip Out

  1. Herm says:

    I just don’t understand his thought process. If I remember the movie correctly, Denzel’s character took the kids to Gettysburg to teach the kids to come together as one…as in 1 race….because of the black and white issue he was dealing with in the 70′s. Not to play harder. Moron deserves the 2 weeks…for being a moron.

  2. Caster says:

    in that case, the coach’s action was less unoriginal than bp suggests…
    the message is actually original. “play hard. you’ll have plenty of time to take it easy…. later. let’s rise up and resurrect this season, starting now.” i think Herm is moronic for not seeing the coach might just possibly being making a different statement. that it’s entirely possible to be making his own statement, for his own reason… to HIS team. Go Mustangs!

  3. Mac says:

    Personally, I think Caster is being sensitive and overprotective of his former High School. Stop trying to relive the glory days Uncle Rico.
    I don’t think the coach should get suspended, he was trying to make a point. Its a cemetery, its not like we took them to a strip club…
    I think the moron here is Denzel
    and Caster

  4. Herm says:

    sorry caster. i respect you defending your hood. but the guy had to be suspended…its 2 weeks. he’s not denzel.

    do you call them ‘Tangs for short?….i love Tang

  5. The Black Pearl says:

    “There are no Blacks” what is this Caster? the 50′s? Good job. Way to alienate and offend people reading a harmless sports blog.

    • Caster says:

      just some facts, guy. calling a bit of humorous attention to my own, and these kids, somewhat sheltered upbringing. and i guess i didn’t think it’d be too offensive to say there were no black people in a little town that had, as it turns out, no black people. sorry tho. btw, “black pearl”? is that moniker lifted from the 3rd installment of Pirates of the Carribean? love those films.

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