Student Well-Being

Football Coach Suspended After Taking Players to Cemetery

By Bryan Toporek — September 30, 2011 1 min read
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Apparently, there can be only one Coach Herman Boone.

A junior varsity high school football coach near Syracuse, N.Y., was suspended for two weeks after making his players lie down in a cemetery after a loss as a motivational tactic.

The Marcellus High School coach, Jim Marsh, admitted Thursday night that he’d borrowed the idea from Boone, the legendary T.C. Williams football coach who was immortalized in the 2000 film “Remember the Titans.”

In the film, Boone, played by Denzel Washington, takes his players on an early morning run through Gettysburg to unify his racially divided players.

“Take a lesson from the dead,” Washington’s character says in the movie, “that if we don’t come together right now in this hallowed ground, we, too, will be destroyed.”

After Marsh’s team lost a game last Saturday, he stopped the team bus at a cemetery and ordered his players to lie down among the graves. He then sent a message to his team about the importance of playing hard.

“I tried to seize an opportunity to inspire the team with a theme from ‘Remember the Titans,’ ” Marsh told the players and their parents Thursday night. “My only thought was to bring them to a realization of what a great thing it is to be able to play football with your friends, and how great it would be to work hard and triumph the following Saturday.”

The district superintendent, Craig Tice, told the

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.