The Ringling High School Football Coach Controversy has taken Oklahoma by storm. Coach Phillip Koons is under scrutiny following player allegations of racism and harsh treatment. With the state investigating, Koons could face a year in jail and hefty fines if found guilty.
“These boys were subjected to a cult-like environment where this guy would groom them, break them down to where they were at a point that they wanted to quit playing football, some of them wanting to commit suicide, and then would build them back up within that cult system and create a deal where he was the most important thing in their lives,” one of the players’ attorney, Tod Mercer, told The Daily Beast. “He would isolate them from their friends, from their family, even from their doctors.”
People said racial mean words were used against Black players. Koons also made fun of players for their weight, laughed at town people, students, and those with special needs.
There were also mean comments about who players dated. Koons even named football moves after girl students.
There are also talks that Koons and his coach sons said bad things about teachers and reporters.
Players shared their bad experiences. One even said he felt so bad he thought of hurting himself because of how the coaches acted.
Koons has had problems at other schools he worked at before. Some say he scared players there too.
Though Koons says he’s a good coach, some think the state’s football culture makes schools overlook the bad things happening to players.
Ringling Public Schools hasn’t said anything yet, and Koons’ lawyers aren’t talking either.