Fatal Football

*I just read this story, in a recent issue of People magazine…I decided to post another article about the same story here for you to read. This article leaves out a few facts, like the fact that the player was taking Creatine, which if you know anything about this supplement, it is for body builders, adds a lot of protein into one’s diet, and dries out someone’s system…causing serious dehydration, if the person isn’t drinking enough (a lot) of water. That said, my son played football here in Florida, but he said for the most part, the coaches wanted the kids hydrated. What is the matter with this coach in this article? He’s an athlete, and EVERYONE knows especially a coach, that kids need to stay hydrated in hot temps when practicing a sport. Makes me very sick to read this story…I remember signing a waiver that the school isn’t to be held responsible for my son getting hurt during practice…how about dying? :mad: And the waiver doesn’t extend to the coach being abusive.

My husband, who suffered grueling practices back in high school, even said that this coach should be held, at least partially responsible. He said, while coaches have to offer tough love now and again…to deprive kids of water and push them in extreme heat, shows you shouldn’t be a coach…you don’t have your team’s safety in mind. This is coming from a pretty tough guy, my hubby. :o And my hubby and son have said…you don’t want to look like a wimp, and beg for water, so you keep going. Ugh, makes my stomach hurt hearing this. I am grateful my son is no longer playing!

So what do you all think? Should this coach be sent to jail? I have mixed feelings about that, but he should not be permitted to ever coach again, in my eyes. What he did was reckless. *


I agree he was reckless. High school football is not college football, semi-pro football, or the NFL. Treating 15 year old boys as if they were in competition for the NFL is just wrong.

*Yes…it’s so senseless this case:(…the funny thing about your comment, is that in the NFL and college football…the players stay ultra-hydrated! They don’t treat adults this way, but they treat teen boys this way. This isn’t an isolated case. The things my son would tell me, I’m grateful he left the team…and so did many of his teammates. I completely ‘get’ the balance that the coaches are trying to teach…of tough love, and instruction. But, this and other cases where coaches deprive their students of water is horrible. I mean, I go for a brisk walk in Florida, and I am carrying a water bottle, better believe it! Thanks for your reply, Jim. *

Frankly, I’d charge him - at the very least - with involuntary manslaughter.

This is outrageous, and I’m sure that this sort of mistreatment of high school players (by some idiot coach who wants to “make a man” out of some poor kid) happens more frequently than we think.

*Yes it does dixie…

Listen to this though–I read an updated article last night online about this, and the teen who died (Max Gilpin) was taking a drug to help with ADD…and the coroner said that while he died of heat stroke, he feels it wasn’t due to dehydration, but more with the drug. Here’s the problem…small towns, everyone sort of sticks together…I hate to seem skeptical, but this town clearly is rallying behind this coach…without even knowing all the facts, they were rallying around him. So, I wonder if the coroner was…um…forced to say this…or find “another cause” besides dehydration. Let’s face it, if we don’t drink water and run for over an hour outside in 90+ degree heat, the same might happen to us, at the very least, we are going to be hurting. I think the drug could have compounded with the exertion, and maybe the teen should have known his limits…and his parents should know the side effects of these drugs. But, I just can’t help but wonder if this coach will get off…and a teen is dead…and there will be no justice for him. But, we have to make sure that we don’t convict someone who didn’t have anything to do with it, but in small towns like this…I don’t know if the truth ever comes out. :frowning: We’ll have to see. If the coach’s deprivation of water ‘tactics,’ didn’t cause this teen’s death, then he shouldn’t go to jail…that’s true. The problem now is that the prosecutors kept this info from the defense, so that’s not looking good.

Hard to tell grief stricken parents that they should have known the side effects of drugs, I read an article that talked about how the mother of Max Gilpin ‘doesn’t want to hear anything except that the coach is responsible.’ So, while he probably compounded the problem by not giving kids water…as a team member you CAN walk off of the field. But, my son said no one wants to be the one to walk off and look like a wimp. Bottom line, the coach is the adult here, and he shouldn’t be conducting practices in such grueling ways…these are not grown men. Even grown men on the NFL aren’t treated like this.

It sounds like a mess, and my heart breaks for these parents. And that poor boy.:(*

*One more thing, and I’ll get on with my day. lol

Just read today, that an autopsy was NOT done on this boy (so who does a coroner make a positive determination that lack of water wasn’t the cuplrit here except to say that the boy’s meds’ side effects are dehydration)??

Second…AND THIS TO ME SHOULD CAUSE THIS MAN TO FACE SERIOUS CHARGES…The coach and his coaching assistants did not call paramedics FOR 20 minutes…so the kids collapsed, and these “coaches” failed to call 911 for 20 minutes!!! I honestly think wild horses wouldn’t be able to keep me away from this man. (how arrogant are these coaches in this case?) :mad: And ignorance is not a plea. If you don’t know that athletes need to be hydrated while practicing in extreme temps, you are not fit to coach. Period. Supposedly, the Kentucky Board of Sports, or something like this, has a LAW that states kids need mandatory water breaks, when practicing when the heat index reaches a certain point, and it reached beyond that, the day Max and the other boy collpased.

The coaches and kids that were practicing on the adjacent field, for soccer, overheard the whole thing…that the coaches were not giving the kids water when they were asking. This makes me so sick!! They are being called as witnesses to this ordeal.

Another boy was hospitalized for two days because of this coach, also…and we can imagine that others probably were hurting. If this man is reassigned, I’m protesting. He should lose his job…he is not fit to be a coach, anywhere!

I think this is hitting close to my heart because my son played this, and I remember him coming home, sick to his stomach and head, from these grueling practices. :frowning: I think that even with the drugs he was on, didn’t the coach see that he was on meds, from the forms the parents have to fill out? Every year, even if your child isn’t in sports, you have to fill out forms for the school that show the meds your child is on, or any medical conditions they have…this coach was negligent at the least, and sadistic at the worst.

I don’t want to see someone spend time in jail if he/she is not guilty, but not calling 911 for 20 minutes? That’s inexcusable. The problem is that the coroner is declaring this ‘an accident.’ This wasn’t an accident…teens don’t drop dead for no reason. *

I’ve known some great coaches who demanded and got the best performance out of their players, who pushed them to exceed what they thought they could do, without ever endangering their lives, and who earned their respect. Heck, drill instructors do this every day without killing their recruits. As you mentioned, in professional sports or semi-pro sports, water bottles and Gatorade are provided as a necessity.

*Yes, agree, Jim. It boggles the mind how some people get into the positions they’re in…they are masters of fooling people. There is too much data nowadays, over the years, that instruct people to drink lots of water before working out…especially, in the heat. We set up a treadmill in the house, because my son likes to run, but this heat causes migraines for him. So…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this. He in my view, is culpable for this…at least in part. The meds played a role, but he pulled the trigger. And people may say…well, the kid could have walked off the field…but, this is the coach. He is supervising these kids…there is a degree of trust that kids have with these men (sadly) and they trust that they will be okay.

If I were on a jury, I would need to hear no other evidence than this “coach” didn’t call 911 the minute the kid collapsed and he realized that he wasn’t breathing, moving, etc. Not 20 minutes later…to me, he needs to at the very least never coach or teach again. He’s not fit. And the fact that he didn’t call paramedics asap shows me that he was scared for his own hide.

I think our culture places way too much emphasis on this sport. I like watching the Steelers play…etc…but, to me, there is just too much emphasis on this sport in our society, and ‘winning at all costs.’ The sad irony, is that this coaching ‘method,’ of repeatedly punishing kids doesn’t produce winning teams…depriving kids of water and safe measures to practice in, only produce dangerous situations, not boys into men. *

*Please check this site out, and sign the guestbook if this story touches your heart. This family needs our support…and prayers.

Thank you!*


I think the coach was reckless. As a coach you have to be aware of your players conditioning. Any body who does not have the background in nutrition, sport performance and sports safety should not be coaching. extreme heat and extreme cold are nothing to fool around with.:frowning:

*I completely agree, GD.

I think after reading a few more things on the death of Max Gilpin…it seems he was also not feeling well that day, and the ADD meds he was on, COULD have played a part in his death. So, I don’t think the coach should be culpable for his death, entirely. But, he played a role, and all the coaches standing around, not calling 911 and just watching the poor kid suffer after they pushed the kids too hard, is really beyond words. I mean, if you saw someone fall down in the street, whom you didn’t even know, wouldn’t you call 911 asap?

The thing that will hurt this coach, is that other kids were sick, and another one was hospitalized…so, I end up with a kid who’s hospitalized and a nice big fat ER bill to deal with…another kids dies…and he walks back onto the field to coach? Uh, no. That should never happen again. However, I don’t know if jail time fits this.

I dunno…but, he should never ever coach again. He has no idea what he’s doing, and he’s coaching like it’s 1960, when people weren’t that educated on hydration, and pushing the limits of teens. Ignorance in 2009 to me, is not a defense, when you’re hired by a school district to supervise kids.

And it goes back to coaching skills. I honestly believe if kids respect their coach, they want to show up ready to practice. They are eager to learn. If a coach stinks, and he’s all about punishment, kids drag their feet to practice. Practice isn’t fun by a long shot, I know this…but, TEACH THE KIDS something. Teach them some new drills, get them fired up. This punishment style of coaching is more common than people think…my son went through it, and had enough sense to say…no more, I don’t need this. And sadly, he was a good player, and so where his friends who quit the team, too. There you go…now coach the kids who are the goof offs, since you lost half of your good team. :rolleyes:

Whatever. Makes me so angry. *

*I’m surprised to see that this topic hasn’t spurred more outrage, like I feel. This wasn’t a case of a coach ‘turning boys into men,’ so I and his parents should just get over it. This was a case where this coach was grossly negligent from pushing the kids too hard in 95 degree heat, to not giving them water…to not calling 911 immediately when Max Gilpin showed signs of shock. :frowning: Oh well…I’m outraged. When you attend a local high school football game, remember this boy. His case isn’t that uncommon.

Please pray that this boy and his parents have some justice here, and that his death isn’t in vain…thanks.*

So you think a public official would cover up a murder because of peer pressure? Your faith in mankind is astounding. Anything that supports or disputes the coroner’s findings? His report was filed the day after the death and weeks before any allegations surfaced concerning the coach’s practice methods.

The coroner had this to say:

Weakley cautioned against placing too much emphasis on his initial findings, saying that at the time, “I knew nothing about what had gone on on that field. As far as I knew, this was nothing but a tragic accident.”

With the view being focused on the Coach it is being ignored that Max had been reported by his friends as being on a **performance enhancing drug called Creatine **which basically pulls water from vital parts of the body to hydrate the muscles along with Max’s mother saying that he “had been taking Adderall since July 2007.” Reports the Courier Journal.

Adderall is a brand-name pharmaceutical psychostimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, which is thought to work by increasing the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. It is available in two formulations: immediate release and extended release (XR). The immediate release formulation is indicated for use in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, while the XR formulation is only approved for use in ADHD. The active ingredients of Adderall XR include a combination of dextroamphetamine and racemic DL-amphetamine salts.

Dextroamphetamine is a psychostimulant which is known to produce increased wakefulness and focus. Basically adderall is a amphetamine “speed” used to fight ADHD.

To many parents that simply rely on the school to take care of it. I grew up on a farm with my dad and brothers pushing me to “be a man” and working along side him. As a teenager I worked as hard as they did, but they never pushed me harder than they pushed themselves. The idea that playing an after school game “makes a man” out of somebody was laughable in my family. My father instilled his values and work ethics in his sons; he didn’t rely on someone else to do it for him.

When I did play sports it wasn’t uncommon for my dad to drop by a practice to see what went on and question me on the coach’s methods. On more than one occasion he had pulled a son out of a sport because he disagreed with the coach’s actions. I’d be really surprised if there was even one parent that attended this practice, if they had why did they not ring the bell when the coach started denying the players water? I agree this guy is a moron and a brute (that some administrators thought was a good mentor for young men) and probably should face charges. But there is some serious neglect on the part of parents to allow their children to be his care.

*Here are the facts:

  1. Max’s mother said he stopped taking Creatine at least 30 days prior to that practice
  2. Yes, he was on drugs for ADD…I never said the coach should bare the full blame
  3. The coaching team didn’t call paramedics until nearly 20 minutes, after the collapse of Max, Coach Stinson standing off in the distance, not even running up to see if Max was okay
  4. Another boy was hospitalized for two days, and others were sick…is this your idea of a normal football practice?
  5. There was no autopsy done on this boy, how can this be ruled an accident then?

My son played the sport…and the coaches can be grueling. This is not uncommon. Please do not attack me, I didn’t cause the situation. The coach didn’t cause it entirely, but he isn’t fit to be a coach. A coach shouldn’t be placing his students in harm’s way…and he did. The other circumstances could mitigate his culpability, but he shouldn’t ever coach again. Jail time seems extreme, but he should be partially responsible for this boy’s death. You don’t feel that way, but don’t turn the facts to support why you feel that way. Facts speak for themselves.*

*The only people who heard the denial of water, were of course the team players…and there were students practicing another sport on an adjacent field…and they heard it. The parents were too far off in the distance to hear that. I remember when our son would play, and my dh would go up to the field…there is only so far you can enter …Max’s father was actually there, but he wasn’t there for the whole practice, he didn’t know how long the coaches were running these boys. It’s a shame…and this man should never ever coach again. Jail? Not sure…a jury can decide. But, he doesn’t belong coaching. PLUS…yes, Max was on ADD meds…that should be in his medical file at school, his mother said they filled out a form for football. This coach should research …every kid isn’t the same…he basically wanted the best of the best, and he basically ran the kids until someone quit the team for good, was the words onlookers heard. So…why fill out forms, if they go ignored. That is where this coach could be in serious trouble…parents fill out medical forms, it’s then the coachs’ responsibility to understand what he is dealing with, and not push everyone the same.

I just want this case to set a standard for all coaches, nationwide…or let it be a warning. You can’t abuse your students. *

*He also died from heat stroke, confirmed by the coroner…but no autopsy done? This is why I scratch my head in wonder…how can this person determine if he was hydrated? The kids were running for two hours or more in the heat, with no water break. They weren’t hydrated. And the drug for ADD …Max didn’t die of heart failure (like maybe ‘speed’ might do) but he died of shock, organ failure, and number one…heat stroke. Supposedly they shouldn’t have even been outside practicing, the KY Sports Alliance asks all teams in that area to be aware of the heat index and take necessary water breaks, or practice indoors. This coach ignored all of that. Coaching isn’t easy…especially with teen boys. I know they don’t listen, I know they can be tough to motivate. But, his actions were horrible, and he doesn’t even seem all that apologetic about it. That is the sad part. He keeps saying he lost one of his boys that day, but he did all he could do?

He did? He helped cause it and failed to call the paramedics right away! *

I just saw the trial live on TV and it was to say the least difficult. The boys mother said he was in great spirits and always took care of himself. It just is really odd to me how any adult who is trained in basic Sports nutrition and safety could have dropped the ball like this. If you do not give your body the proper fuel or fluids you simply are not going to be able to perform at the highest level.:shrug:

The Coaches defense, was the practice was not that tough.:rolleyes: Being in the heat exercising vigorously is nothing to mess around with period.

Hi GD! Hey, where did you catch the trial? I saw a blurb or two about it online today.

Yes, agree with what you say. I will say, I don’t think the coach should go to jail, as I don’t think that BEYOND A REASONABLE doubt that he is guilty of homocide. But, he should never be able to coach again, he doesn’t care about kids’ safety. And the defense is grasping at straws…another boy was hospitalized from the SAME practice…and others were seriously impaired…hmmm…maybe they should all run the same sprints without water, and they’ll have a different opinion? :hmmm: Also, another blunder by the defense, is that the coach himself is noted as telling the parents at the hospital ‘I pushed the kids hard that day.’’ Maybe they need to get their stories straight.

I do think that the coach was negligent…there should really be a different charge…like reckless endangerment…He endangered the kids that day. Kids typically trust their coaches, so if the coach is telling them to keep going, don’t drink water…keep going…they will. It’s strange, but I only know this from what my dh tells me about his football days, and having seen this with my son’s practices. The only thing I’ll say that is odd…is that Max Gilpin’s dad was at the practice…he said he didn’t know how long they had been running, when he arrived. But, maybe when you see kids dropping, as a parent you should run up, and step in. Sadly, parents trust coaches also. Sad sad story. I just hope this coach never is permitted to coach again…he doesn’t deserve it, none of them on the field that day do. *

Hey Whatevergirl, the trial was live this afternoon on CNN’s Headline News(HLN). I would agreed as well jail time may not fit this but he could definitely not be able to coach again anywhere.

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