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.