Second chance warranted

We live in a world of second chances. We have seen many, mostly on a national level, who have been afforded the opportunity to improve upon their initial response.

Most, we believe, use that second chance to right what went wrong the first time. Others don’t.

Officials of the Hancock County School District recently gave Ian Whittington his second chance.

Whittington was suspended as varsity football coach at Oak Glen High School following an ugly on-field incident between the Golden Bears and their rival, the Weir High Red Riders.

In his second-year as the man in charge of the Oak Glen football program, Whittington missed the final four games of what ended up being an 0-10 season.

A gifted athlete during his time at Oak Glen and West Liberty, Whittington was presented with an important task – molding the talent of teenagers on the football field who would be representing the colors of his alma mater.

Truth be told, he failed.

It was on Oct. 4, during the 2013 season, when emotions on the field between the Hancock County rivals boiled over into an altercation.

An Oak Glen player was disciplined and Whittington was suspended as coach for the remainder of the season, although he continued in his teaching role at the high school.

Then, we supported OGHS principal Barbara Logue and her quick action in handling the situation. She did what needed to be done. “… we have to set a tone for what we expect from students and coaches,” she said.

Now, we agree with district officials in permitting Whittington to return to the sidelines.

“We can’t change what happened. We just need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Whittington recently said. “We tell our kids they are responsible for their actions, and the same goes for me. You mess up, you pay the price. …”

We believe Whittington’s suspension was necessary. No coach should be bigger than the school and its responsibilities toward educating our youth.

It sounds as if Whittington has learned a lesson. Now we hope he pays it forward, teaching the young men he coaches how to act on and off the field.