Conshohocken Bears youth football coach facing possible suspension for violating 'mercy rule'

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Thursday, October 17, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

Youth football coach facing possible suspension for 'mercy rule.' Beccah Hendrickson has more on Action News at 6 p.m. on October 16, 2019.

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A youth football coach from Conshohocken says he will fight a $500 fine because he didn't stop one of his players from scoring a touchdown.

It happened on Saturday morning during a football game for the youth team, Conshohocken Bears. They were blowing out their opponent, as the coach says is typical for the season.

All of the kids are about 5 to 7 years old. The league rule is a team can't outscore an opponent by more than 30 points.

On Saturday, coach Kyle Williams had all of his backups in the game. He says he asked the refs to throw a flag as a runner broke loose. They didn't. His backup running back scored.

"It was his chance and he'd seen the end zone. He did not want to fall down and he scored," said Bears coach Kyle Williams.

In a video of the touchdown, Williams sprints down the sideline alongside his running back trying to convince the five-year-old to stop.

"'Ah, you should have tripped him.' The referee told me that. He told me I should've tripped him running down the sideline if I really cared about this fine and suspension," said Williams.

The fine is $500 toward the league and the coach could be suspended two games. He has a hearing with the Keystone State Youth Football League on Monday.

"Yeah, I broke the rule. Yeah, I have to deal with the rule. Do I agree with the rule? No. Will I continue to coach how I coach? Yes," he said.

At least one person agrees with his philosophy: his brother-in-law and former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith, who fired off a series of tweets with statements like, "Kids need to learn to deal with failure. Don't want to get shamed? Play better."

"Why are we out here getting bumps and bruises, even if you're on the losing team. Coach, I've been getting run over the whole game and you're trying to tell me you're about to call this game because we're getting beat? No," said Williams.

The situation is getting so much attention that Williams says he's getting calls from other leagues to set up games. He scheduled one for Thursday night that has a no mercy rule. He thinks his kids might get blown out, however, he also thinks that's a good lesson for them.

"Just in case they do face a taste of losing, I'm not going to be the coach making a big deal about them losing or this mercy rule," Williams said.