A high school football coach has been placed on leave after parents say their kids were forced to do 400 pushups as a disciplinary measure.
John Harrell (pictured above) of Rockwall, Texas has come under fire by parents and students alike for allegedly forcing Rockwall-Heath High School football players to do “a large number of pushups” according to FoxNews4. The coach has been head of the football team since 2019 and previously expressed in a school video how it was his “dream” to be a head football coach one day. You can see him accepting his title as head coach in the video (below):
The punishment allegedly occurred on Friday evening during an off-season workout. Reports say football players were forced to do “hundreds” of pushups in the span of only one hour and were offered no water and given no break. And apparently parents weren’t made aware of the situation until the following Monday when principal Todd Bradford sent out a letter to let everyone know some of the students needed “medical attention” while others were “hospitalized.” Just awful!
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The Dallas Morning News‘ reports only make the situation all the more horrifying, revealing at least EIGHT of the teens had to be admitted to the hospital over the incident. One anonymous parent told the outlet their child was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which in case you don’t know is a severe medical condition that occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. This condition can be fatal or result in permanent disability of the sufferer. So heartbreaking, all of this over a high school football practice…
And shockingly, junior coach Brady Luff doesn’t think Harrell was in the wrong! He told the outlet what was reported was wrong — claiming there was water and students could “leave if they wanted”:
“[Coach Harrell’s] treated us with nothing but respect, and he loves every single one of us like his own.”
Hmm. He’s not denying the punishment allegations, though — just the conditions. Still doesn’t seem like a very respectful or loving act to allegedly force kids into such strenuous activity…
The Rockwall Independent School District has placed Coach Harrell on administrative leave while they hire a third party to investigate the claims. They also released a statement saying they’re looking into the claims:
“The district is also taking interim action, including but not limited to, placing Coach Harrell on administrative leave while the investigation is pending and notifying appropriate outside agencies. District administrators and campus personnel have been in contact with the affected families and student-athletes.”
Such an awful situation. Our hearts go out to the students and families, we hope the football players who were injured get well soon.
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via YouTube/Rockwall ISD]