Six players kicked off basketball team for walking out

Birch Run's athletic director says six of eleven team members complained that they didn't like how the team was being coached.

The school is standing behind longtime coach Perry McCord and his decision.

Those who disagree with the decision say adults often forget what it was like to be a teen and that the school could have showed more sympathy.

It's no secret the Birch Run boys basketball team has been struggling.

The 5 and 7 Panthers have lost their last three games, two of them by a combined four points.

Wednesday, six players did not show up for practice.

"The students at this point took it upon themselves to walk out on the team rather than facing their challenges head on and setting up a time to meet with the coach," says David Bush, superintendent of Birch Run Schools.

The school says coach McCord did not receive any notice of the walkout but was told the players were not happy with his direction of the team and practice.

The school kicked the players off the team saying they could have respectfully appealed or at least communicated their concerns verbally.

"They should go by the rules while they're in school," says Douglas Zuehlka of Birch Run.

Others who did not want to appear on camera disagreed saying the school reacted too quickly and did not give an opportunity for the students to seek forgiveness.

They believe a suspension was justified but not taking them off the team.

The superintendent says he did not want this to happen either.

"Certainly, we would have rather had the team stay intact, but this was a choice the students made. They walked away from the team and it does create an opportunity for some JV students to move up. Hopefully it's a lesson learned for all the students," says Bush.

The Panthers take on Essexville Garber Friday night in the first game without those players and with some JV players.