Adrian Peterson’s HS coach admits using a paddle for punishment

September 17, 2014 / CoachingFootball
Amid all the Adrian Peterson news today came this report that Peterson’s high school coach used to beat the running back with an 18-inch wooden paddle as part of a “tough love” regime. 

The article comes from MailOnline, which reported that Booker Bowie would give Peterson up to three lashes with a paddle he kept in his office. Peterson attended Palestine High School in Texas, and according to this article, Bowie was head football coach and athletic director before he retired in 2009. 

From the article at MailOnline:

Speaking from his home in Tyler, Texas, Bowie explained that he used to hit his students if they stepped out of line. He said that he talked to his students before he hit them and then explained afterwards why he did what he did.

He told MailOnline: ’It wasn’t my intention to abuse the kids, the kids loved me for it. I wanted them to do right. They said: “Coach, thank you.”

The article notes that corporal punishment is legal in Texas but can be a felony if it’s deemed too severe. Dallas’ CBS affiliate reported that corporal punishment remains on the books in many North Texas school districts, but parents must approve of paddling. Surprisingly, many do.

We’ve written a lot about the use of physical and psychological abuse, and it’s my position that there is no place for it. If you’re a coach that uses physical abuse to teach and discipline your student-athletes, it’s time to find a new line of work. There are better ways.

Have an opinion on disciplining your student-athletes? Let us know in the comments section below.

Photo by Mike Morbeck [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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