Monthly Article Archives: October 2004

A Football Coach’s Lessons for Life: To Nurture Respect and Dignity in Our YouthRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In previous articles I described my perspective about the role and goals of youth sports (February and March, 2002) and the practice of hazing (April, 2004). Recent reports in the media have prompted me to reflect upon and share additional thoughts about these topics. I continue to be disappointed but not surprised by continuing accounts of hazing incidents. As I noted in my April, 2004 article, hazing is a longstanding, common practice that some researchers believe is on the rise. A couple of weeks ago a disturbing incident occurred at Sandwich High School on Cape Cod. A story in The Boston Globe written by Stephanie Ebbert noted, “Garrett Watterson, legally blind in one eye, knew he would never be a star swinging a baseball bat or shooting hoops. As a lineman on the Sandwich High School’s freshman football team, he thought he’d found his sport.” The article continued, “Now the 14-year-old freshman faces new physical hurdles, delivered by a body blow so devastating that doctors had to remove his spleen. The injury, suffered during what school officials described as a hazing episode at football practice, irrevocably changed Watterson’s life. From now on, he will require routine immunizations and regular antibiotics

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