Ute Conference Football suspends coaches, parents, players after brawl on the field
SALT LAKE CITY — The Ute Conference Football said it took swift action after a fight broke out at a youth game over the weekend.
Executive Director Jeff Gorringe was disappointed by the actions of those involved and said incidents like this take away from the players’ experience.
“It’s about having fun, it’s about teaching life lessons on the football field that they can’t get anywhere else,” Gorringe said.
Herriman police responded to Saturday’s fight at Butterfield Park after parents, coaches and some players rushed the field following a referee’s call during a youth football game.
“Adults now are taking this way too seriously and way too far,” Gorringe said.
He said after the incident Ute Conference Football decided to suspend two players, two parents and four coaches.
“The coaches have to referee four games and then they have to give us a written notification for an appeal,” Gorringe said.
The coaches will also have to take an anger management course if they want to coach again in the organization.
As for the parents suspended, they will also have to referee four games in the next three weeks or risk their sons being suspended for the rest of the season. These are penalties Gorringe stands behind, saying they keep everyone on the field safe.
“We have to ensure the safety of our players, our parents, our coaches, opposing coaches, but most of all referees,” he said.
To keep those on the fields safe at 214 games each Saturday, the conference will now spread out games to more locations and make adjustments to the sidelines.
“So that we can put our rope back 15 to 20 yards off the sidelines so that the parents have a larger distance to travel if they decide to cross the rope,” Gorringe said.
Parents in the conference are also weighing in. Youth football coach and father of a player, James Graham said he did not want this recent incident to overshadow the good that youth football does for his players, including his son.
“I want to give him a good opportunity,” Graham said. “Seeing kids respond and be better than they were a year before is amazing!”
When he learned about what happened at the game in Herriman, he was upset with the picture it portrayed.
“Our league isn’t like that and it’s unfortunate it happened,” Graham said. “Violence should not be shown at a game in any capacity because what are you teaching your kids when you do that.”
Herriman police tell KSL TV they are still trying to identify two more people involved in the incident. No charges have yet been filed.
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