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HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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Old 01-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

Sad story all around, but what do you all think. Should this coach be charged?

PRP coach indicted in player's death | courier-journal | The Courier-Journal
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

If he denied them water, than absolutley he should have. That "run til you quit" portion doesnt bother me all that much, as coaches will say things like that all the time. I mean the article didnt touch on the temperature outside either, so theres a lot of variables there. Obviously its a tragedy for all parties involved.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

That's a very sad situation. I do not think the coach should be charged though. There were plenty of times when I played high school football that the coaches said, "no water until you..." fill in the blank. Did I sweat, puke, and feel totally exhausted? Sure.

If this kid collapsed with 107 degree body temperatures and none of the other players had adverse affects, I wouldn't call the coaching behavior reckelss. It's a shame, but not worthy of homicide charges.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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Originally Posted by Gmanc711 View Post
If he denied them water, than absolutley he should have. That "run til you quit" portion doesnt bother me all that much, as coaches will say things like that all the time. I mean the article didnt touch on the temperature outside either, so theres a lot of variables there. Obviously its a tragedy for all parties involved.
I think this is going to be the biggest problem for the coach. These days, there is no excuse for denying the players water because it is so well known how important it is and the potential consequences from dehydration. For the most part I think we've come a long way from the "water is for the weak" mentality.
That being said, I don't know if the coaches neglect is the same as murdering the kid. Homicide charges seem rather harsh to me.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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I think this is going to be the biggest problem for the coach. These days, there is no excuse for denying the players water because it is so well known how important it is and the potential consequences from dehydration. For the most part I think we've come a long way from the "water is for the weak" mentality.
That being said, I don't know if the coaches neglect is the same as murdering the kid. Homicide charges seem rather harsh to me.
That part I agree with as well. And I'm not sure what "denied them water" means either. Did he just not give them a water break? I mean I'm going to assume that alot of people here played football and I mean its a tough situation and coaches try to imply that "tough love"... homicide charges do seem awfully steep.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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That part I agree with as well. And I'm not sure what "denied them water" means either. Did he just not give them a water break? I mean I'm going to assume that alot of people here played football and I mean its a tough situation and coaches try to imply that "tough love"... homicide charges do seem awfully steep.
I'm no lawyer, so I'm just guessing here. But I think there's a pretty good case here that he acted in a criminally negligent manner. If I remember right that would qualify you for the mildest degree of murder. Me thinks?

If someone shows signs of sickness and you deny a request for water, given what you know about dehydration, chances are you were negligent and showed disregard for the kid's health.

So while he's qualifying for a "homicide" charge, the sentence would likely end up on the light side.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

I pretty much agree with Schneed. Homicide seems a little too harsh but he was definitely negligent there. He'll probably plead down to a lesser charge.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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That's a very sad situation. I do not think the coach should be charged though. There were plenty of times when I played high school football that the coaches said, "no water until you..." fill in the blank. Did I sweat, puke, and feel totally exhausted? Sure.

If this kid collapsed with 107 degree body temperatures and none of the other players had adverse affects, I wouldn't call the coaching behavior reckelss. It's a shame, but not worthy of homicide charges.
One person having a heat stroke is not uncommon because of all the factors that can cotribute. Maybe he was out drinking the night before maybe he did not hit the water when needed etc etc.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

One thing to remember is there is strong precedence here. It's unfortunate, but there have been plenty of cases in recent years of kids collapsing on practice fields and dying shortly after. I don't recall any other coaches facing prosecution. Did Mike Tice face homicide charges when Kory Stringer collapsed? Sure, the Vikings had a civil suit against them, but not murder. It's a shitty situation, but to prosecute the coach for homicide is too much.

From what I can tell, no other kids on the team were having heat related issues or adverse symptoms. And from what little I read, it doesn't seem like this coach has any history that would cause red flags or concern from the school or parents. Plus he briefly played in the NFL, so understands what players deal with.

Anyway, my point is homicide charges are excessive, and the precedence in cases like this backs that up.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

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Originally Posted by Gmanc711 View Post
If he denied them water, than absolutley he should have. That "run til you quit" portion doesnt bother me all that much, as coaches will say things like that all the time. I mean the article didnt touch on the temperature outside either, so theres a lot of variables there. Obviously its a tragedy for all parties involved.
That's a biggie but if the coach truly did nothing for an extended period after the collapse i.e. did not call for paramedics etc then he is no doubt liable under the law and should be punished to the limit. As a coach you're basically taking responsibility for the kids during a practice. So for instance if there was a terrible non-football related accident (seizure, gun shot, kid run over by out of control mower) and the coach did nothing his pure negligence is criminal. In the case of the collapse whether he caused it is debatable but doing nothing after, if it's true, is a crime.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #11
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

Nope. My basketball coach made us run "suicide" drills through the summer practices and when anyone missed a layup in a game, we all had to run in practice. We got a break to hit the water fountain once in the middle of most practices. Looking back, I'm glad the coach worked us so hard, it taught us some valuable lessons.

If the kid had a medical condition, as sad as this story is, it's up to him and his parents to take that into consideration when allowing him to play. Don't parents have to sign waivers and the kid have to get a physical?

"...as was the lack of urgency and the delay in seeking medical treatment after Max collapsed and never regained consciousness. is the only disturbing line I read, if it is true. My coach worked us hard, but he still cared about us, this could be the reason for some kind of punishment, but I still think homicide is too severe.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:50 PM   #12
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

Also, they said the heat index was 94 degrees that day, which means the actual temperature could have been in the mid 80's depending on the humidity. Not exactly sweltering. Ask any of our boys from the "U" about what playing in real heat feels like.

Again, my heart goes out to this boys family, but anything beyond a civil suit in this case is too much.

Apparently the coach is also a minister and a very good man. I read that this whole ordeal is just tearing him up, and his friends and family are concerned for his well-being. He clearly meant no harm to this boy. One life has already been lost. Why ruin another one?
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:09 PM   #13
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

I have been coaching soccer for over six years and we have never denied players water. Even during cold weather we make sure players get breaks. Granted we do not wear the equipment that football players wear but after running anywhere from 5-8 miles a game you need water.
I do not think the coach committed murdered and should not be charged with it. The sticking point seems to be that the young man was down for twenty minutes before any action took place. I could see that biting him in the ass. He has got to live with the fact a young man died on his watch and that is punishment enough.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:15 PM   #14
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

[QUOTE=Buster;523367]Nope. My basketball coach made us run "suicide" drills through the summer practices and when anyone missed a layup in a game, we all had to run in practice. We got a break to hit the water fountain once in the middle of most practices. Looking back, I'm glad the coach worked us so hard, it taught us some valuable lessons.
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As a coach there is such a thing as practicing smart. I make my players run a great deal often mixing in practices with sprints and long distance runs. My players work hard every practice. It does no good to deny a player water, infact all it does it hurt the player and his/her performance.
You can character build but do it in a manner where you are not harming the athlete.
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If the kid had a medical condition, as sad as this story is, it's up to him and his parents to take that into consideration when allowing him to play. Don't parents have to sign waivers and the kid have to get a physical?
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Yes they have to have physicals before they can play sports at least in the state of Virginia. I would imagine it is not that different in Kentucky.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
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Re: HS Player Collapses, Coach Faces Homicide Charges

Man, if it is your time, then it is your time. Everyone that has ever played football has been threatened with running until they drop and/or been denied water to some extent. As soon as a parent signs the waiver and the child passes a physical, then the coach is in the clear. Football is a grueling sport and the hardest practices take place in the hottest part of the year. You can either take it or you can't.

When they are saying lack of urgency what are they referring to? How long it took for someone to call 911. Well, how long did it take? In this case lack of urgency is perspective. To one person he may have acted in a calm and timely fashion. To another he may not have appeared to be panicky enough and screaming for medical attention. He could have gotten the medical attention there as quickly as he could and the kid could have still died on the way to the hospital. I am not going to pass judgment on this guy without knowing all of the facts.

I honestly believe that this is a case where the parents are pissed that they lost their child, and rightfully so. I would be pissed if I lost my son on the practice field as well. On the other hand that was a risk that you accepted when you signed the permission slip for your son to play. I feel that this is a case of angry parents who do not want to accept some responsibility for what happened.

In the end if we find out that the coach never called 911 or he took in excess of 5 minutes to do so then I might side with the parents.
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