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IMG assistant wants coaches to know that "when you campaign against IMG, you campaign against your own profession"


A few weeks ago, the president of the Texas High School Coaches Association penned a letter regarding IMG Academy stating how it is ruining not only football, but the coaching profession as a whole. The weeks that followed have been filled with heated discussions among coaches across the country on the matter.

IMG offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Richard Bartel, who is a product of the Texas high school community and a former Texas high school head coach himself at Southwest Christian HS, recently fired off a tweet in defense of IMG, it's people, and what they do directed at some of the more prominent names in Texas high school football. Since his feelings couldn't be summed in in 140 characters or less, Bartel attached a few screen shots of his thoughts.

The note reads:

"I understand those who have varying opinions about who we are, what we do and how we do it here at IMG. However, I refuse to read and listen to smear campaigns (particularly those in the TXHSFB coaching community) who go out of their way to publicly ostracize my program in the name of sanctity/tradition of high school football. My family and I consciously moved to IMG because it gave me a personal platform to use my unique skill set as a former NFL player (product of TXHSFB) to impact those who were as driven as I was to achieve a childhood dream.

I was the head coach at Southwest Christian Academy in Ft. Worth and left to pursue this opportunity. I won't list who, but I actually reached out for the advice of some pretty prominent TXHSFB coaches before taking the job. Well meaning men who understand opportunity, vision, and platform. I was encouraged. I'm not a whistleblower unless someone has been wrongly accused or dishonest, IMG is none of the above. I'm none of the above. 

Coaches, when you campaign against IMG, you campaign against your profession. We have a staff full of men of integrity who sacrifice, teach, and impact kids and families just like you. If you don't agree, that's okay. If you don't want to play us, that's okay too. Let's not pretend that families don't move/transfer for athletic purposes even when you have "rules" and it's considered legal just like I won't pretend that IMG is the only place young men can learn life changing lessons by a game we all love.

It's about the game but it's always about those who play it. We aren't after championships sho you could argue that our motive is as pure as any, but it's not without purpose and intention. We want talented young men who are committed to the process of reaching their full potential. Young men who are into investing time on task in developing their skill set so they can press on, and reach their full potential as men and players. If you're a coach who has a problem with that then you're in the wrong profession."

I've got a ton of love and respect for TXHSFB coaches. As a fellow Texan and product of the TXHSFB community I'd like to know that you'd be more thoughtful in your accusations and wouldn't preclude judgement without thoughtful regard for those who are personally invested at IMG.

You may not like the mdoel, but you'd love the people. Consider that."

While many coaches may not like how IMG operates, Bartel brings up some very solid points, and give him credit for not sitting idly by while coaches bash the program he works for, and the blood, sweat and tears he and the rest of the IMG family pour into their jobs, and the student athletes.