Monday, October 22, 2012

Coaches Speak Out On Pop Warner Incident (Video)

Erik Iller
Southbridge and Tantasqua Pop Warner Coaches Scott Lazo and Erik Iller were interviewed today by WBZ TV in Boston (below).

Lazo was also interviewed by WFXT TV and  WHDH TV, but Iller declined to be interviewed by either.

They were speaking about an incident where the two teams played a game that resulted in five of the 10 to 12 year old players suffering concussions.

Scott Lazo
As a result the two coaches were suspended for the balance of the 2012 season and put on probation for the 2013 season.

Also put on probation were the two league presidents. The 3 individuals who officiated at the game were banned from Pop Warner for life.


  1. On the channel 7 tape Lazo is making it sound like he's the victim! OMG.

  2. Well, now it's going national on NBC and yahoo.

  3. Fair & BalancedOctober 23, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    I wasn't there but I have read several news reports on the game.
    Considering everything I've read and everything I know about Scott Lazo this isn't the incident that should be getting him all the media attention.

    I do have to side with him on this one! I blame the referees and the opposing coach Iller much more than Scott Lazo.
    Who puts hurt players back onto the field in a mercy rule shutoff? What was Iller trying to accomplish? and why was he subjecting his players to this humiliating defeat rather then calling it a day? Animal house - Thank you sir may I have another comes to mind.

    You are obliged to keep playing if:
    the other coach doesn't want to stop playing.
    If the ref doesn't stop the game
    If punting on first down still doesn't result in a score for the other team.
    If the mercy rules are being followed and you still score 24 more points by running up the middle following the rules and the opposing coach still wants to keep playing.
    If the league playoff match up formulas are determined by Wins vs loses with a point differential as the tie breaker.
    If the league rules says concussion safety and mercy rules out of one side of their mouth and point differentials out of the other.

    This all leads to if you don't like the score being run up do something to stop me if you can.

    Iller had no business keeping his players on the field after the first injury. He broke the rules and allowed his players to be injured by lack of substitution and reentry after being hurt.

    I can't believe I'm saying this - Iller the Zero - Lazo the Hero

    1. Apparently this is part of the Lazo apology tour.

      This game continued because the game meant more to the "adults" than the safety of the children. The idea that the game must continue if "the other coach doesn't want to stop playing" is pure BS.

      This incident revealed in all its ugliness the worst in children's sports. Adults were using kids to satisfy their own egos, the safety of the kids be damned.

      These coaches should not just be suspended, they should be banned, as the refs were, for life.

      Alternatively, if they can't accept and play by the Pop Warner Rule Book, then Southbridge and Tantasqua should surrender their charters. Perhaps the national organization should revoke them anyway. There are no "heroes" in this.

    2. Fair & BalancedOctober 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      You have a well documented bias against scott Lazo so I wil not argue with you. I will provide another viewpoint from the T&G that I argee with.

      Andyloco wrote:
      Lazo sent injured players back on the field?? Lazo told the refs not to stop the game?? Lazo played football with less then the required number of players? Lazo has 6 kids that went to the doctors for various injuries yet we have not seen any of these reports? Yet the same kids played in the next weeks game?? Lazo clearly knew he was out matched and continued to put the kids at risk? I'm confused did Lazo do that or did the coach from Sturbridge do all that stuff??

      What did Lazo do again ??

      I'm not from Southbridge or Sturbridge. But this seams a little more about Sturbridge vs Southbridge. Rather then what coach put what kids more at risk. Sounds to me like Refs and the Sturbridge coaches are to blame here. They should have just ended the game.
      If I'm in a race with a Ferrari and I'm driving a Hyundai. Shame on me, the race track, and my crew for even letting me race. Never mind allowing me to race after I crashed not once not twice but 6 times. Shame on them. It is in no way the driver of the ferrari's fault. Even if he was bragging or making rude comments.
      See my point people. Lazo may not be a model citizen but his actions at that game were not nearly as bad as what the other coaches failed to do. He was just driving a faster car.

    3. "You have a well documented bias against scott Lazo so I wil not argue with you."

      Really, and have you documented this? I will say that anytime I have written about Mr. Lazo, I have fully documented my observations.

      That being said, and despite the fact that you have dismissed my opinion, I will give it anyway. First amendment. Remember that?

      I happen to agree with Mr. Lazo that this incident should be revisited by CMPW. Clearly their decision has not been accepted by one of the parties, and it has evoked lots of talk about the wisdom of the CMPW board. They should open it because they are becoming the story, and the competence they have to render judgement in disputes has clearly been called into question.

      Two coaches have wildly different accounts of what happened at the game that day. Both cannot be right. One or both must be lying. It has become a character issue, one that calls into question the integrity of both coaches.

      A newly-opened investigation, then, needs to focus on the abilities, training, and demonstrated behavior patterns of both coaches. They should both be thoroughly vetted as if they were newly applying to coach a Pop Warner Team. That includes background checks for both.

      The cost of not doing this is very high for the entire Pop Warner organization, and is detrimental to the legacy and memory for whom the organization is named.

      Parents who place their children under the training of a coach have a right to expect that the coach exhibits impeccable integrity.


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