Lessons Seen In KY Coach’s Acquittal In Student Death


Despite the acquittal of Kentucky high school football coach Jason Stinson in the death of a player, the prosecution sent a strong message across the U.S. that coaches must err on the side of caution when working players on hot summer days, state and national experts and coaches told the Louisville Courier-Journal. They said Stinson's trial in the death of a 15-year-old player from heat stroke may spur the movement to require certified athletic trainers at high school sporting events, and to require ice pools on sidelines during games and practices in extremely hot weather.

Prosecutors accused Stinson of ignoring danger signs at the Aug. 20, 2008, practice where some players were vomiting and gasping for breath on an afternoon when the heat index reached 94. They said he denied players water and ran them excessively because he was mad at them for failing to practice hard. Despite the quick acquittal yesterday, prosecutor Leland Hulbert said he thinks “more good will come from this trial,” adding that coaches who step on the field now will be more aware of water breaks and the temperature during practice and running drills.

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