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Report: Crystal River coach suspended for using profanity. Discuss.

Crystal River football coach Greg Fowler was suspended for 10 (unpaid days) for using profanity during practices and games, according to this report from the Citrus County Chronicle.

He missed three games while the district investigated a complaint from the parent of two players, according to the report. The Chronicle wrote that Fowler told the district he used profanity sometimes during practices but they were not "intended to be abusive."

In another Chronicle story, Fowler says he might have asked a player why he didn't catch the you-know-what ball, but he didn't abuse them. His future at the school hasn't been decided, according to the paper.

So what's your reaction to this?

Football coaches have used profanity ever since cavemen first used guttural grunts to make an opponent jump offsides. But times have changed. Parents and kids are more sensitive. I think we know more about the dangers of bullying and emotional abuse than we used to, too, so we're more cautious. I'm guessing that many of you think we're too cautious.

I'm somewhere in the middle.

Teens have heard curse words before – in the hallways, on the school bus and probably in the locker room. I've heard some profanity from players in my days walking the sidelines.

I don't have a problem with some swearing from coaches. If a coach yells for a player to get his head out of his rear, I'm fine with that. That can be constructive. The anger is a motivational tool to get the kid to work harder and make him better. That's kind of the point of coaching.

But there are clear lines that can't be crossed. The Ricky Giles incident at Pasco comes to mind.

Without knowing more details on the Crystal River coach, I'm not sure where I stand. I do think coaches have a different job than math teachers. Yelling at a math student isn't OK. Cursing at him/her isn't, either. That's because the setting is different. Inside voices, people.

But on a noisy football field, with cars driving by and bodies hitting each other, yelling is necessary. There's more emotion in sports, and you have to play with passion and fire. Coaches have to help their kids do that. Sometimes that means being compassionate. Sometimes that means screaming with potty words. Depends on the situation, the kid and the coach.

If I'm a school principal, these are my basic guidelines: Use profanity sparingly. If it's a word you can hear on network TV, it's probably OK. Never use one of George Carlin's seven dirty words. Never abuse a player or threaten violence or make light of a sensitive issue. You can question a kid's attitude or effort without being a bully.

What are your thoughts? What's OK? What's not OK?

Posted by matt_baker at 7:57:13 am on November 15, 2012