Two Texas 'Tykes' football coaches suspended; pushed kids to hurt, swear

Tue Feb 4, 2014 11:47am EST
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By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Two volunteer coaches of the eight- and nine-year old football players featured on the reality TV show "Friday Night Tykes" have been suspended for encouraging dangerous play or bad behavior, league officials said on Tuesday.

The Texas Youth Football Association featured in the Esquire Network series that started last month has drawn criticism from those who say the coaching borders on child abuse, but has been praised by others for teaching kids how to be tough.

"They were suspended for violations of the coaches' code of conduct," said Brian Morgan, the TYFA's chief executive.

Charles Chavarria, head coach of the Junior Broncos, was suspended for the entire 2014 season. Morgan said the coach "willfully encouraged players to injure other players" with helmet-to-helmet hits that health experts said could cause head and neck injuries.

"He pointed to a spot on the players' helmet and said, 'you hit them right here, I guarantee they will go down one by one'," Morgan said.

Amid rising concern that repeated hits to the head, even mild ones, can have long-term negative health effects including dementia and aggression, the National Football League last year banned helmet-to-helmet hits.

Chavarria wrote on his Twitter feed: "Just wanted 2 say thanks for all the support from friends & family. It's been hard, but I've learned a lot! I'm truly sorry."

Marecus Goodloe, the coach of the Northeast Colts, was suspended for six games - the entire spring season - for encouraging his kids to use profanity.   Continued...