Friday Night Lights

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Will Bates Character Analysis

Gary Edwards’ algebra teacher, Bates initially awards Edwards a failing grade, which causes the chain of court rulings resulting in that grade being lifted to above a 70. Bates, for his part, is “moved” to the middle school, where is no longer in charge of Dallas football players’ grades—thus ensuring that Carter High can continue to dominate on the field, without fear of academic “meddling.”

Will Bates Quotes in Friday Night Lights

The Friday Night Lights quotes below are all either spoken by Will Bates or refer to Will Bates. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Football Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Perseus edition of Friday Night Lights published in 1990.
Chapter 15: The Algebraic Equation Quotes

Will Bates was drummed out of Carter and reassigned to teach industrial arts in a middle school. He was given an unsatisfactory evaluation rating, placed on probation for a year, and had his salary frozen. And, of course, he was forbidden to teach and to prevent further threats to the sanctity of football.

Related Characters: Buzz Bissinger (speaker), Will Bates
Page Number: 335
Explanation and Analysis:

Bissinger is perhaps most critical in this chapter of the book—critical of a competitive football culture that he believes can destroy people's lives. Will Bates has done nothing other than what he believes to be right. He has attempted to hold a football player to the same academic standard as any other student in the high school. But because football plays an outsized role in the town's self-conception—because football players are central to the total success of the school—their academic work is of little importance to most people.

Bissinger implies that the students who are supposedly "privileged" by this system when they are athletes are actually not well served once they leave school. They have been exempted from an education they deserved, in order to play a game for the delight of school administrators and fans. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Friday Night Lights quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Friday Night Lights LitChart as a printable PDF.
Friday night lights.pdf.medium

Will Bates Character Timeline in Friday Night Lights

The timeline below shows where the character Will Bates appears in Friday Night Lights. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: The Algebraic Equation
Football Theme Icon
Race and Racial Divisions Theme Icon
Wealth, Poverty, and the Boom-Bust Cycle Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Winning, Losing, and a Purpose in Life Theme Icon
In Algebra II, Will Bates , Edwards’ teacher, had given him a non-passing grade, below 70, for the semester, before... (full context)
Football Theme Icon
Race and Racial Divisions Theme Icon
Wealth, Poverty, and the Boom-Bust Cycle Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Winning, Losing, and a Purpose in Life Theme Icon
...against Permian. And, as Bissinger concludes, only one person had serious consequences for his behavior: Will Bates , whose “salary was frozen,” and who was moved into an industrial-arts classroom in a... (full context)