Tim Buchanan, Adelo High School football coach, is being investigated by the school’s principal after leading his team to a 91-0 victory last Friday against Fort Worth Western Hills at home.
Coach Buchanan has led his team to victory this season with an undefeated 7-0 record, averaging 70 points a game. The Aledo Bear Cats' sweep against Western Hills Cougars was no different than their other six previous winning games, except this time the coach was being accused of bullying not just the Cougars but also the Bear Cats.
A Western Hills parent claimed that Buchanan encouraged his players to bully the Cougars by running up the score. In the bullying complaint, the parent wrote that there was “unsportsmanlike conduct from 7:30 - 10:00,” Fox 4 reports. "I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand."
Buchanan received notice of the bullying report on Saturday morning. He has the support of the Aledo administration, but doesn’t believe in dismissing the matter and plans to take these allegations very seriously.
“I have to address it,” Buchanan told star-telegram.com. “It’s not something you can laugh off or anything like that. What they said was that I should’ve told my players to ease up and not play so hard.”
While the coach insisted that he has told his players to lighten up a bit, he will not by any means stop his team from scoring a touchdown. Buchanan’s players come to the field to practice six to seven hours a week.
On Friday’s game, the Bear Cats ran just 32 plays but scored on almost every third one rushing 391 yards, scoring eight touchdowns on the ground, two each on passes and punt returns, and one on a fumble recovery. Buchanan acknowledged that it could have been worse for the Cougars — the Bear Cats could have made the game 150 to 0.
If Buchanan is found guilty of bullying, this would mark the state’s first instance of using football as a method of bullying. The definition of bullying remains unclear, but Dr. Victoria Calder, director of the Texas School Safety Center, helps students, parents, and educators understand where the gray areas may lie. For example, a little girl shoving another little girl at school “doesn’t make it bullying,” Dr. Calder said to the star-telegram.com. “You have to look at each case individually.”
Someone who doesn’t believe Buchanan is guilty of the allegations is Western Hills coach John Naylor. “I think the game was handled fine,” he said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.”
According to bullyingstatistics.org, 30 percent of teens in the U.S. have been involved in bullying, either as a bully or as a victim. Young teens are found to be more susceptible to physical bullying, which is easier to identify in this age group.
For more information on bullying, visit stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/.