Did a coach pay kids to hurt other 11-year-olds during football games?

Did Orange Country football coaches pay 10- and 11-year-old players on their team to knock out opponents? An Orange County Register article spoke to parents who say that former head coach Darren Crawford and defensive coordinator Richard Bowman did indeed pay a "bounty" to really hurt players on the opposing team.

The idea behind a bounty is that you are paid to barrel into a player hard enough to take them out of the game or end his career for the season. It's exactly how it worked when the NFL discovered that between 2009 and 2011, the New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator paid team members to do whatever they needed to do to get a rival player off the field.


One parent claims that the youngsters on the Orange County Cobras hurt one 11-year-old badly enough to give him a concussion during a game. The team made it to the Pop Warner Super Bowl last year and ended the season with a 12-1 record. Did the supposed payments, which ranged from $20 to $50, make players extra aggressive?

The league that oversees the team, Pop Warner, is conducting an investigation into the allegations.

I hope at that their investigation legitimately proves that this never happened, because it would be ridiculous for a coach to incentivize violence on the field (or anywhere for that matter). Concussions are already a risk these kids take, and it's a serious matter if a child suffers one. Heck, it's become a serious matter if an NFL player or any adult suffers a concussion. There are a multitude of stories out there about former players committing suicide or suffering from dementia.

It'd be a tragedy if an adult who garners respect from his young players subjected other people's children to irreversible danger.

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Topics: controversy  kids