Thursday, October 24, 2013

High School Routes

The 91-0 drubbing of Fort Worth Western Hills by Aledo High School, which prompted accusations of bullying against the Aledo coaching staff, brought to mind a controversial game played between two Los Angeles high school football teams nearly 40 years ago.
It was in 1977 and Woodrow Wilson High, which was coached by Vic Cuccia, played host to Lincoln High School in an L.A. City league game. Wilson High was known for its innovative and wide-open offensive style of play and had scored a high number of points in many of its games. On a Friday night of that season, Wilson's high-powered offense was no different. Lincoln trailed at halftime, 63-0.
When it was time for the second half to begin, the Lincoln coach decided not to send his team back onto the field. He wanted to spare his players further embarrassment.
When Lincoln's team did not come out of its locker room, it was assessed a forfeit and the game was over, setting off public arguments over the Lincoln coach's decision.


add Aledo High: A parent associated with Fort Worth Western Hills filed a protest with the school district which accused Aledo High's coach of bullying, even though Aledo removed most of its first-string players in the first quarter and played third-stringers for most of the second half, according to reports. There was also a running clock, which means the clock didn't stop for incomplete passes and runners going out of bounds. In that Texas' school district, there is a mercy rule for six-man football but not for 11-man.


last add Aledo High: The best way to avoid situations like this is to schedule teams fairly, matching those with same talent level against schools with similar talent. To accuse a coach of bullying and running up the score for his and his team's pleasure is a weak excuse for an argument. There is a good chance that many of the third-string players from Aledo probably won't get much of an opportunity to play this season, and to ask them to not play as hard as they can isn't fair.
The late John McKay was accused more than once of running up the score during his days as coach at USC, even though his second- and third-string players would play much of the fourth quarter. McKay's answer to his critics was always the same. "What do you want me to do, ask them not to try to score?"

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