More than meets the eye

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nine seconds of an argument between a coach and the commissioner of a local youth football league were captured on camera on the evening of Nov. 3 for all of Western Tidewater to see. Tempers flared, things were said that should never be said in front of children and, surely enough, the incident became headline news for a local television station because of who was involved.

The only narrative associated with the video was that a former NFL player and current commissioner of the Cover 3 Youth Football and Cheer League was supposedly enraged with parents and coaches because they would not have their kids strip down to their underwear and turn in their uniforms. It was said that Greg Scott — CEO of the Cover 3 Foundation, a non-profit community service organization in Franklin — also attempted to have those who would not comply arrested for larceny — all of which has been denied by the league commissioner.

But what was missing from that news segment was that Scott and Holland Razorbacks head coach Marcus Evans have had problems with each other dating back to the end of last season. A number of documented incidents, including — but not limited to — the fact that a number of Holland players did not turn in equipment last season; that the removal of 14-year-old players from the league prompted coaches and parents to call another news station; and that Evans’ one-game suspension for using an illegal player eventually led to the eruption of both the coach and the commissioner last Tuesday night. It also did not report that Evans, like Scott, admittedly let his temper get the best of him as he hurled expletives.

This was little more than a civil issue between two groups of people — Cover 3’s executive board and the Holland Razorbacks football organization — that began roughly a year ago and boiled over when the season came to a close. But let us ignore the fact that these groups have a history of bad blood between each other and assume that one party was in the wrong based on nine seconds of an out-of-context video.

Quite frankly, everyone involved was wrong in their handling of the incident. From the email that was sent to the parents and coaches that did not clearly request only the helmets and shoulder pads owned by Cover 3 — not the full uniform, because the jerseys and pants are owned by the Razorbacks — to Scott and Evans cursing in front of 6- through 13-year-old children. As for the latter, it was immature behavior and not the standard by which league commissioners, coaches and/or other public figures should handle themselves.

It was also irresponsible of the news station to report anything without researching every possible side of the story.

I received the same emails from people telling us to look into the story. And it was in talking to Scott, Evans, the head coach of the Sussex Green Machine — whose team owns all of its uniforms and equipment and therefore would have never been asked to return it — that I determined that this wasn’t one to begin with. It was two grown men who should be role models captured on video acting like the children who look up to them.

Andrew Lind is a staff writer and sports editor for The Tidewater News in Franklin. Email him at