I understand the being set in your ways part and instilling discipline into a new program because it obviously sounds like it was needed. But if kids are in college classes and have work, it's on the coach to adjust his schedule - not on the kids. Some kids need work to help pay bills, buy food, etc at home. To tell a kid who may be in that situation to make a choice is absurd. I'm not saying that was the case, but I've been coaching long enough to know that some kids are in that situation.
As for the kicker and "giving him a choice," that seems a lot like the guy just being a jerk. He's not coaching in some D-1, FBS powerhouse. He's working with a high school kid who forgot his cleats. To tell him he can get the cleats but not play or leave is just petty.
Changing world we live in. The school, community, and message boards like this focus so much on "winning" that coaches feel the need to implement over the top training programs to try and only have super dedicated kids to the program. Neither the kids story nor his make feel like there are any real winners in this situation.
6:30 AM practice for a specific amount of time (assuming weightlifting/conditioning/film)
8:20 AM class until 3:00 PM
3:30 PM until 6:30 PM for practice.
If you assume 30 minute travel from school to home, 45 minutes for shower and dinner, and 8 hours sleep that is maybe 2 hours for homework, work, volunteer, church, and just being a normal teen. When exactly were they supposed to be students?
I will never understand the idea of mandatory summer practice. I think coaches should be fired for even suggesting the idea. I believe in positive reinforcement for coming to summer practice, not that you are off the team before the season even starts because you didn't come to summer practice. The article also makes me hate colleges/universities that would show interest in a kid with 22 ACT when I know kids with the same GPA and 32/33/34s ACT who the listed universities would never even look at students. I get that as athletes, academic credentials might be lower but that isn't even in the same ball park as what those schools require.
They used to require management classes in college and one of the things they will tell you is you don't try to change the culture overnight. You focus on 1 or 2 things that you are not willing to bend on. Maybe it was morning practices. Maybe it was study hall, but you don't try to overhaul everything in the first month on the job otherwise you get rebellion. Too many changes, too fast. This is the problem, we expect a win now mentality when we don't understand that improvement takes time to build. In looking at the record of Taylor County over the past 10 years, they look like a solid program with an occasional down year. So it is not like Taylor County was this lawless, winless program, but a decent program. Build on that without saying everything you did before sucked. Players have gold fish memories. After 1 year 2 years nobody will remember the old ways. So make small changes.
I look at the kicker/pre-game meal situation as the coach screwing up. It would have been faster for the kid to run out his mom's car, grab the shoes, and be back in the cafeteria than the time the coach spent talking to him.