Should This High School Coach Have Been Suspended for Slapping His QB?
When things like this happen—and they happen several times a year—they always tend to serve as an interesting litmus test for guys. One side will say football is a man's game, a violent game, and the tap on Tellefsen's helmet is a feather hitting your toe when compared to an outside linebacker crumpling you from the blind side. The other side says that coaches should be less inclined to act like a dictatorial Bear Bryant wannabe, and instead treat their players with more respect. (Many times, the litmus test is also political. The headline on Glenn Beck's site The Blaze says, “HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH SUSPENDED FOR WHAT?” )
The answer might be somewhere in the middle. Did Guandolo hit Tellefsen too hard? Probably. Should he have been suspended? Probably not. Would he have been in trouble if ESPN hadn't been on the sideline? Christ, no.
Does this, then, stink of a school trying to cover its ass, rather than actually addressing the difficult questions of what constitues coaching abuse? That's for you to decide.