Ted Ginn Sr. on challenges facing his Glenville Tarblooders: ‘The world has got to wake up’

Updated: Jun. 18, 2020 at 4:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - High school football is nine weeks away from kicking off and nobody really knows anything.

Will there even be a season? Will parents be allowed in the stands?

And what happens if the answers are "no"?

Let's start with the biggest loss: the daily structure and hope that football offers so many.

Ted Ginn Sr. has coached a Heisman winner, Troy Smith.

A Super Bowl champ, Frank Clark.

And so many others who made it to the NFL.

But his work as a life coach has propelled dozens of other young men to higher education.

Thanks to that structure.

“If we don’t have a team or a program this year, it puts them (kids) at risk for a lot of other things,” Ginn said during a Zoom meeting. “Because we use football as a carrot, to really motivate kids to be productive people. That’s my carrot, to really educate them and save their lives.”

Ginn said his players will be playing catch up from the start this season, because unlike some of the schools in the suburbs, schools in Cleveland haven’t been open for workouts, even for limited groups.

"We just met yesterday and they said probably July 1," Ginn said. "But we're so far behind."

But it's about so much more than that. It's about keeping kids engaged.

That has been Ginn’s life mission.

Football is a means to an end. But football is a vital part of the equation.

And if it’s not there?

Well, you can’t fully measure that loss.

In the meantime, the legendary Glenville football and life coach holds out hope, that Covid-19 won't continue to sidetrack the work that changes so many lives.

“This is something we’ve never seen, the biggest equalizer I’ve ever seen in my life,” Ginn said. “To be in a position like this ... the world has got to wake up.”

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