The wrong coach left

A high-school football coach who forgot to file paperwork with state authorities has resigned from his coaching position.

Another high-school football coach who made a conscious decision to cheat -- and instructed his players to cheat -- still has his job.

How topsy-turvy is that?

Greenbrier High School coach Scott Chadwick stepped down Wednesday because he questioned his continued effectiveness as a team leader. It came to light recently that he unintentionally allowed two ineligible players to take the field, and he failed to fully submit medical forms to the Georgia High School Association to prove that everyone on his squad was healthy enough to play.

He and the school came clean almost immediately after this was discovered, dutifully investigated the matter and admitted the wrongdoing to the GHSA.

After doing right in the wake of doing wrong, Chadwick no longer is a coach.

Now let's look at Jody Grooms, the coach at Lakeside High School. In his team's final game of the season, before the final snap, he coached players on his team to run an illegal play. One player ran out of bounds while another receiver 40 yards downfield stepped off the sideline and into active play, in a failed attempt to catch a deep pass.

Let's say that another way: Grooms devised a way to cheat, then convinced his players that cheating is OK, then showed them the precise way they were going to cheat. It's the polar opposite of how he should be instructing young people under his guidance.

And he's still got his job.

It's absolutely unfair.

Granted, in Chadwick's case, the error of his ways is revealed not merely in the facts of the case, but in the potential consequences. Had the absent medical paperwork gone unnoticed, and one of the Greenbrier players with absent paperwork died or fell seriously ill during a game or practice, grave repercussions would have followed. That's likely why the GHSA levied, among other penalties, a $1,000 fine against Greenbrier -- four times the fine assessed against Lakeside for knowingly cheating.

But the Greenbrier incident doesn't rise to the level of moral and ethical shame of the Lakeside incident. Chadwick made a mistake that was wrong. Grooms made a decision he knew was wrong.

If a rank-and-file classroom teacher instructed pupils to cheat on a test, that teacher would be gone. Grooms isn't, apparently because none of his superiors wants to play the bad guy -- or at least not enough of a bad guy to rightfully toss the Lakeside coach out on his ear.

Cheating should never be tolerated, and Grooms should stop coaching at Lakeside.

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