Strike Impacts School Athletics

1-27 jbo sportsMEDFORD, Ore. – Medford coaches say the teachers’ strike will put student athletes in a tough spot, and in a worst case scenario it could force them to forfeit games.

In order to attend practices and games, coaches would have to cross the picket line. But many of the coaches in the district are also teachers and members of the union.

Meanwhile, even those who aren’t unionized are left with a difficult choice of having to abandon their job or turn their backs on their colleagues.

“They’ve got teams to coach and kids to coach,” said South Medford High School Athletic Director Dennis Murphy. “They’re put in a tough position just like we all are.”

Murphy says some teams only have unionized coaches, meaning if they can’t attend they’d have to forfeit any games scheduled during the strike.

Other teams have assistants that can step up and coach, assuming they have the right training and certifications.