The Innocent Days
Just when it seems there’s no place in sports as pure and innocent as it appears to be, you get the chance to watch a bunch of kids play tee-ball for the first time. They are knocking the tee over and running the wrong way. In the outfield they are picking dandelions and watching the planes while smiling at mom and dad. . I remember the days when our coach had to carry my daughter out to her spot on the field. They can’t wait until the game is over so they can run to the concession stand.
The innocent days are gone as of Aug. 23 2008.
Now you have David Jason Stinson, the Pleasure Ridge Park High School head football coach, was indicted on one count of reckless homicide in the death of one of his players, Max Gilpin. Stinson is facing up to five years in prison if found guilty of the charge. The Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office did not seek charges against five other coaches on the team. All the coaches, however, have been named in a lawsuit filed by Max’s mother and father in Jefferson Circuit Court in September, accusing the coaches of negligence and “reckless disregard.” This will forever change amateur sports. I think all my old coaches could be charged with something. I was kicked in the butt; I was pulled around by the facemask. I was spit on as the coach was yelling in my face. I was verbal abused and had to go heads up with many of my coaches, you can guess who the one on the ground was after that was over. I’m not making light of a very serious issue. All you have to say is what if it that was my child. I can not even imagine the pain the Max’s parents are going threw. My heart goes out to them. Football is a violent sport each time you walk out on the field you could end up in a wheelchair or worse. The lack of water should never be an issue. Stinson sounds like an old school coach, nothing wrong with that. We could use more coaches like him. The question is how you balance the practice time water breaks. Some kids would and will use the water breaks to get out of some of the drills or running. There won’t be a coach now that won’t freak out if a kid now says “I have a headache” or “I can’t do it coach”. The coach will have to back up and let the kids stop. He won’t try and push the players to the next level. That will not be good for the kids. The coaches now will be walking on eggshells. They will be afraid they will be the next one to be sued. I’m not taking sides to this issue. A child died playing football and part of his coached died too. This situation will change amateur sports forever.