TODAY   |  October 23, 2013

Parent claims 91-0 football win was bullying

One outraged parent has claimed that an opposing high school football team’s 91-0 victory was bullying, but the coach of the losing team said they had agreed on measures beforehand to tone down the win, since Texas has no mercy rule. TODAY’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> high school football game getting a lot of attention across the country. the final score in the game was 91-0 leading one parent to file a former bullying complaint against the winning team. janet has that story.

>> reporter: the aledo bearcats are used to winning. with a record of 7-0 this season, a blowout is nothing new. but on friday night, they defeated western hills high school 91-0. one parent of a player on the losing team took it especially hard and filed a bullying complaint against aledo 's coaching for, quote, not easing up when the game was in hand. saying everyone in the football stadium was witness to the act.

>> i've never heard of a bullying report in a football game .

>> reporter: knowing the match up was uneven and because their division has no mercy rule , aledo 's coach tim buchanan says he pulled his starters early and implemented a running clock in the third quarter to help keep the score down. something both team's coaches discussed before the game but he had to draw the line somewhere.

>> i do not want to have to get to the point where you tell your kids don't play hard.

>> reporter: western hills coach didn't respond to calls but told nbc affiliate kxas he disagreed with the parents complaint that his players were bullied. one student tweeted if we could do that to a team we would. nothing that happened was a form of bullying. another tweeted parents should be ashamed. losing is losing. not bullying. the aledo superintendent said the parent that made the complaint is no longer upset. he now knows steps were taken beforehands by both coaches to tone down the win. other parents said kids should be determined to do their best no matter what you're playing.

>> you don't want to confuse them by telling them to go out there and ease up.

>> reporter: for today, nbc news, houston.

>> this is getting a lot of reaction. carson what are you hearing?

>> it's coming in as we speak. she said how is winning a game bullying. maybe establish a mercy rule for future games and the result of our poll, 86% of you say this is not bullying by winning 91. bearcats are good. they're 7-0 and beat all of their teams by a margin of 77 points.

>> can't say i'm surprised.

>> kids need to learn how to lose in life.

>> nothing is fair in life.

>> you say you used to get blown out in soccer.

>> we used to get crushed in soccer. 17-0 and when we would score one goal we would celebrate.

>> look how you turned out.