Coach clears up "Undefeated" controversy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Coach clears up "Undefeated" controversy

Bill Courtney was surprised when the film about his underdog team's quest for football superiority won the Oscar because he says there was no real statement - political, social or otherwise. Bill Courtney was surprised when the film about his underdog team's quest for football superiority won the Oscar because he says there was no real statement - political, social or otherwise.

(WMC-TV) – He wasn't seated with the beautiful people. Instead the former Manassas High School football coach, whose team was the subject of an Oscar winning documentary, was in the third tier.

However, Bill Courtney and his wife said that didn't dampen their excitement for the night or the "Undefeated" documentary win.

"I'm gonna allow myself to enjoy it and the kids need to enjoy it and the other coaches need to allow themselves to enjoy it," Courtney said.

Courtney was surprised when the film about his underdog team's quest for football superiority won the Oscar because he says there was no real statement - political, social or otherwise.

"I'm a football coach and I love to coach football and those kids needed some discipline and they wanted to learn football and they wanted something to believe in and commit to."

During their acceptance speech the producers, who spent nine months in Memphis filming, seemed to leave out the Manassas football team and Courtney, which garnered a lot of negative responses on Facebook.

But Courtney, who was in the room, says that's far from what happened.

"The guys were screaming into the microphone about North Memphis and Manassas and thanking the volunteers and the kids and everything else," he said. "They had no idea they were cut off."

Besides, Courtney said Memphians should be happy with the movie's big win.

"We shouldn't be small and shallow about this," he said. "Without those folks there would have never been this story - this positive spotlight on the school, the city or the people in it. We need to be bigger than that."

"Undefeated" it opens in Memphis Friday, March 2.

It will only play at Paradiso.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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