The legacy of a high school football coach isn’t just about winning games. It’s about how they impact the community. Roosevelt High School head coach Trey Porter was one of the good ones, but he recently lost his job over a stupid rule.
At the school district in St. Louis, coaches are not allowed to contact students or even former students through social media. However, since some of Porter’s players don’t have cell phones, he uses Facebook to make sure everyone is all good. That’s ultimately why he lost his job, according to KMOV 4.
“It was typically for reaching out to the players and keeping up with the safety,” Porter said. “We focus a lot on mental health. A lot of my players don’t have cell phones, but they have Wi-Fi hot spots. They use Facebook to call.”
Porter, who was also the school’s athletic director, isn’t the only one upset by the decision. Students at the school even protested the firing of the head football coach over the social media policy.
“They are heart-broken. He did everything for them. Fed them. Clothed them,” Roosevelt sophomore Makiya Jones said.
“I don’t believe it rises to the level of a fireable offense and that’s because of how much work he has put in for the school and the kids,” St. Louis Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia added. “That should have been taken into consideration.”
The school policy is what it is, but the St. Louis public schools district isn’t messing around. This is definitely tough for the football program and coaching staff. Coach Porter was a role model to several of his football football players. He put on leave for talking to the media without permission before, according to KMOV 4, and now he doesn’t have a job.
“The rule is the rule. I was following not the letter of the law but the spirit. In this case, my kids were my best interest,” Porter said.
In an era where social media has a presence everywhere, it’s hard to imagine someone losing their job just to make sure their players are staying safe.