Bullying by winning the game?

A high school football coach in?Texas has been accused of bullying. His alleged offense? His team won a game 91-0.

The bullying complaint was filed by a father of a player on the Western Hills team, which lost the game. But by all accounts, the coach of the winning team did everything he could to keep the game as competitive as possible.

Aledo High School coach Tim Buchanan benched his starters after 21 plays. His team ran the ball most of the time, and the game clock ran uninterrupted after halftime. Even the coach of the losing team, John Naylor, said he disagrees with the bullying complaint, which said Aledo coaches should have told their players to stop playing so hard. That notion is silly, but under Texas law, any bullying complaint must be investigated.

No one wants to be involved in such a lopsided sporting event. It’s not fun for the losing team or the winning team. But we fail to see how this particular game rises to the level of bullying. No doubt there have been and will continue to be sporting events where the winning coach has intentionally run up the score against an overmatched opponent, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

There will always be winning and losing teams in sports. It is a competition. Certainly rules can be put into place to help alleviate ridiculously lopsided games, but there will continue to be mismatches. Perhaps Texas should consider mercy rules to end 11-man football games when one team is ahead by 45 points or more after halftime, as is done in the state’s six-man football division.

We believe valuable life lessons can be learned from sports, by members of both the winning and losing teams. But what does unnecessarily accusing the winning coach in a lopsided football game of bullying teach anyone?