St. Norbert College football coach Jim Purtill will return to the sidelines this week when the Green Knights travel to Knox College.
The school suspended Purtill for the game at Beloit College last Saturday after two instances over the past three years in which his players continued to warm up during the playing of the National Anthem.
Purtill was issued a warning from the school when it happened at Monmouth College in October 2007. It then happened again during last years regular-season finale at Illinois College.
There was no violation of NCAA or Midwest Conference rules, but the school decided to suspend Purtill on its own.
Purtill is in his 12th season at St. Norbert College and he’s been quite successful, collecting eight Midwest Conference titles.
Kudos to St. Norbert College for sitting Purtill down. This action by his players is in-excusable and shouldn’t have been overlooked. While Purtill is in charge and needed to be held accountable for his teams actions, I’m trying to rationalize the players actions.
These are college students. They’ve been observing National Anthem’s for a long time. What could they possibly be thinking. I don’t care what drill you’re in. If you can’t get to the sidelines for the beginning of the National Anthem, then you stop right where you are, remove your helmet and face the flag. Anything short of that is a total lack of respect.
Plain and simple, there’s no excuse for the actions of the coaches or the players. St. Norbert College dealt with this appropriately. If a third violation takes place, Purtill should lose his job and the players their spot on the team.