Manuel reminded the players to leave the locker-room talk for the “Days of Our Lives” tour bus.
In light of recent behavior by several football players, athletic director Warde Manuel gathered the football team after practice last Thursday to instruct them not to pick on any cross-country runners in the locker room.
“A little horseplay is fine here and there, but recent behavior has been unacceptable,” said Manuel to the athletes. He added that pushing athletes into lockers, name calling, and writing “XC SUX” on the walls of the locker room was also not allowed.
“The administration frowns upon the actions taken by several students who I will not name,” Manuel told a group of school administrators and parents. “It’s a shame that we even have to address things like this, but sometimes you need to have a frank talk with these young men and tell them to back off.”
“Boys will be boys, but I think it’s gotten a little out of hand,” continued Manuel. “I don’t want to be the bad guy here, but somebody’s gotta step in and draw the line.”
“I’m obviously pretty disappointed in what you boys have been doing. I always appreciated what a mature group of young men I had on this team, but I guess I was wrong,” said head coach Jim Harbaugh at Wednesday’s practice. “This makes me look bad, too, you know?”
Continued Harbaugh, “I already talked to the head coach of the cross- country team and offered my apologies. I suggest you do the same to those poor boys you’ve been picking on.”
The cross-country team was reportedly grateful for Manuel’s talk with the football team. “They’re so much bigger than us,” runner Matthew Willig said of the players who reportedly whipped him with rolled-up towels. “It’s only fair that we get to use the locker room, too. We’re part of this school, just like anyone else.”
When asked, players on the football team discredited the administration’s requests, stating that “it’s no big deal,” and that they were “just having some fun.”