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Coaching In A Litigious Society: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t…

high school football coach

The following was written by King-Devick Test vice president T.J. Gaynor.

It’s the second quarter, two minutes to go your offense has the ball and you’re in spread 5-wide, your QB goes back 5 steps, their stud MLB rocker-blitzes full speed run-through and blasts your guy right under the chin, flag, ejection but… your guy pops up. Trainer checks him out, passes the cognitive, balance, everything but your athletic trainer (or you personally if none is present) nonetheless pulls him. Said the shot was too big and we are better off playing it safe for further evaluation and you make a subjective judgement call. QB goes to the doctor, your guy shows no real ill effects but he sits two weeks. His recruiting flags a bit. The one offer he had ends up getting pulled from him. Season ends on a high note, your running game kicks into high gear and along with a great defense and timely special teams you win your first state title. Six months later his crazy father sues you, your offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, athletic trainer, AD, school and school district for $500,0000 in lost scholarship potential. It could happen. To you. Happens every fall.

Now imagine this - same play. Trainer (or you) leaves your guy in – he passed protocol. Third series third quarter he takes a helmet-to-helmet hit and doesn’t get up. Knocked out cold he spends the night in the hospital and his career is over. Same family, same lawyer, different lawsuit.

What’s a coach to do?

Protect yourself and your players with the only sideline remove-from-play test endorsed by Mayo Clinic. It’s the athletic trainer’s job, yes, but it’s your house and assets on the line in the event of a lawsuit. Unfortunately in this country anyone can sue anybody for anything. Get informed. Ask your AD why your team isn’t using the test used by The U, Florida, Notre Dame, FIU, Penn, Virignia, Idaho and thousands more across the country.

The best part is your QB's dad will pay for the nominal $20 for the test.

Unless you know it to be a fact that your athletic trainer is paying your legal fees you owe it to yourself to get educated and understand why an objective test protects you AND your players.

Don’t be that guy that has to explain to his wife why you’re losing the house and the retirement fund because one of your player’s families is suing you for a concussion-related injury.

Don’t be that guy.

Get the test, don’t be that guy.

Run, don’t walk and ask your AD why you don’t have an objective test on the sideline that protects both you and your players from litigation.

If you can’t get that test consider having every parent and guardian sign a waiver of right to sue for you PERSONALLY before next season starts up.

It won’t stop a lawsuit, but if you don’t have the test it’ll help you sleep easier at night.

The above was written by King-Devick Test vice president T.J. Gaynor.