Does he need to kick him off the team?
My answer is no. Hear me out.
If this is my son, I want him near me. I want to physically change his behavior. I want him sleeping in my house, under my wife’s watchful eye. I want to drive him home after practice, after games, when all his buds are out celebrating for what I’m sure will be the 15 minutes of downtown time they’re going to get after this.
I want him to pay a price. I want him to explain to the entire team, seniors and everyone, why the downtown curfew has suddenly become a time you can measure on a stopwatch. I want him to take responsibility for his actions. I want him to feel this as he’s banned from the sideline for five games next fall.
I want my son to see that he’s only 19 years old, that he’s a scholarship football player who, if he lives his life right, might have a shot at the NFL someday. If my son has a legit problem, I want to see my son through. I want to be by his side while he goes through what, I imagine, would be bruising self-examination. I’d want to be there for my son.
Maybe I’m overdramatizing. Maybe this situation isn’t anywhere near this type of boiling point. But I do remember Kirk Ferentz’s reaction on this topic last fall. My heart went out to him. This is flesh-and-blood stuff.
James Ferentz will be an Iowa football player for five years. Kirk Ferentz will be his father forever.
I could never seperate “son” from “player.” I’m not sure anyone could. I don’t think it’s fair to ask that of anyone. (This is the part where someone mentions salary, I’m sure.)
I’d want my son to know I love him and I’d do anything for him. I’d want to be a positive force in my son’s life.
I couldn’t, in my heart of hearts, turn my back on my son. Yes, it’s only football and football is a small part of life and maybe there’d be a larger life lesson in a booting. But look at the household we’re talking about here.
Is there a right answer? No, there’s not. The only conclusion I have is this: I have a son (he’s 9 and loves football) and I’d want him to know I love him. How I would show that in this case? I’d want him close, maybe closer than ever.