Parents of high school football players in the US state of Texas were unpleasantly surprised by the training methods of a local coach. The BBC writes that the training at Rockwall-Heath High School in the city of Heath, about 40km from Dallas, was more like a military exercise, with more than a dozen young people having to go to the hospital after training. The mother of one of the actors who had to go to the hospital, Dr. “Students were forced to do almost 400 push-ups without a drink break,” said Osehotue Okojie. According to some media, players were required to do push-ups as punishment. According to a letter sent by the school to parents, the school’s head coach, John Harrell, has been placed on temporary administrative leave pending the third party investigation.
NOW: John Harrell, Rockwall-Heath’s freshman football coach, is on administrative leave over a third-party investigation after several students needed medical attention/hospitalization after an off-season practice last Friday.
This letter ???????? has been sent to parents today. pic.twitter.com/nL28qdGOZn
— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) January 10, 2023
Dr. Okojie’s son came home from training in pain and couldn’t raise his arms. He was later diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which involves the breakdown of muscle fibers, which causes a harmful protein to be released into the blood. After training, he spent a week in the hospital before returning home.
Maria Avila, another parent, told CBS that her son was “too tight” after training and “couldn’t move his arms.” “This is a nightmare for me,” she said. “It scares me because it affects my son’s mental health.”
Principal Todd Bradford wrote in the aforementioned letter to parents that on January 9, several parents reported that their child had to go to the hospital “when asked to do more push-ups” after one of the January practices.
“Student safety is a top priority for Rockwall ISD and we will continue to take urgent and appropriate measures to benefit our students as we deal with this situation,” he added. The school has committed to prompt investigation of the matter with the help of a local law firm.
At today’s press conference, many students showed their support for Coach Harrell by wearing the “Keep Harrell” T-shirt, as seen in the videos on Twitter.
But for parents of students, the experience was a nightmare. Dr. Okojie hopes that all people connected to this incident will be held accountable. “Instead of blindly chasing victory, we need to focus on health first. We want to win at any cost?” he added.
Source: Seznam Zpravy
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