A football coach who teaches more than Xs and Os

Recently, I binge-watched the fifth season of the Netflix series, Last Chance U. It features the junior college football team at Laney College in Oakland, California, and head coach John Beam.

I hadn’t watched previous seasons of this series, so I’ve watched a few episodes from all four of them. They feature two seasons each for the East Mississippi Community College Lions and head coach Buddy Stephens and the Independence (Kansas) Community College Pirates and then-head coach Jason Brown. He was forced to resign after the 2018 season. Events leading up to Brown’s resignation were included in the second season the team was featured on Netflix.

In order to not totally give away the story lines from any of the five seasons, I’ll just say that Brown deserved to be forced out. In my book, Stephens should have been forced out as well at the end of the 2015 season, the first that was followed by the Netflix series. Also, I can’t help but question the priorities that result in a community college with 3,000 students having a 5,000-seat football stadium in a Mississippi town of 700 people. This is a community where per capita income is $12,110 and 30% of families and 25% of the population live below the poverty line.

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