New profanity rules have high school coaches and players holding their tongues

Published: Aug. 24, 2016 at 10:01 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2016 at 10:17 PM EDT
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MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - High school football is full of thrills, but it's also full of emotions. It's why from time to time, coaches and players have blurted out words that can't be written here.

"I've said 'doo doo' from time to time," said East Burke High School football coach Tom Brown. "Doo doo" was not the word he actually said.

"In the heat of action it happens to everybody," said Brown. "Not just in football, but in life."

On the high school football fields in North Carolina, though, it can lead to 15-yard penalties and coaches getting thrown out.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has established new rules. If a player uses profanity directed at an official, a 15-yard penalty can be assessed. If a coach is overheard using profanity, even if not directed at an official, the coach can get away with one mistake but after the second, the coach can be ejected from the game.

Brown said he has instructed his coaches and players to watch what they say.

"Here at East Burke we try not to use certain words, and now we will pay the price if we slip up," the coach said.

Still, he hopes game officials will not be quick to act.

"Sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment, and then it's over," Brown said.

Game officials will have some discretion, but not much. Brown said so far this season, even though it has just started, the new rules have not caused major issues.

He plans to do whatever it takes to follow the rules and stay in the game, and wants his coaches and players to do the same.

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