• Footfall fines could increase risks
    March 22,2013

    Tuesday’s articles in The Times Argus and Rutland Herald regarding fines proposed for high school football teams that were forced to forfeit games last fall deserves further comment. As the head football coach of the Montpelier Solons for the past two years, my No. 1 priority has been safety of our student athletes.

    The most difficult decision I had to make, in conjunction with our athletic director, was to forfeit two games last fall. When the number of players who could suit up fell to fewer than 16, we had little choice but to let the opposing team know we could not play that week. To now consider penalizing or fining a team would further penalize that team and might even lead a team to play despite the impact on student safety.

    This year I have worked with the Legislature to improve schools’ response to concussions. It seems to me that coaches’ energy would be better spent on improving player safety, cultivating new programs and supporting feeder programs than trying to impose new penalties on our communities.

    John Murphy

    Head football coach

    Montpelier High School

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