• Prep Athlete Who Collapsed in Weight Room Has Died

    by Paul Steinbach September 2017

    A two-sport high school athlete who was hospitalized Tuesday after collapsing during a weight-lifting class has died.

    Ben Johnson, a sophomore who played football and baseball at Fleming Island (Fla.) High School, died just before noon Thursday at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, where he had been in critical condition for two days. Reports indicate that Johnson’s heart stopped, causing irreversible brain damage.

    On the day Johnson collapsed, the Clay County School District released the following statement: “A Fleming Island High School student passed out today while he was working out in the weight room during school hours. EMS was called immediately and he was transported to a nearby hospital. He was transferred to Wolfson Children’s Hospital where he is in critical condition. We are not releasing the student’s name at this time, but he is a sophomore who plays football and baseball.”

    Practices were immediately canceled that day, and by Wednesday, Johnson’s identity became known when his family released a statement to Jacksonville’s WJAX-TV. At 1:21 p.m. Thursday, the Florida High School Athletics Association tweeted, “The #FHSAA family mourns the loss of @FIEagleSports student-athlete Ben Johnson. Please keep his family in your thoughts.”

    At Fleming Island’s junior-varsity game Thursday night, players wore helmet stickers bearing Johnson’s initials and jersey number, and they joined other mourners in forming the number 78 on the field while clapping and chanting Johnson’s name. Fleming Island travels to Ridge View High School for a varsity game tonight.

  • Aaron Hernandez Had CTE; Daughter Sues NFL

    by Telegram & Gazette September 2017

    Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player’s daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport was safe. In a news conference at his offices, Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez said the testing showed one of the most severe cases ever diagnosed.

  • Student Group Protests Harassment by Student-Athletes

    by Courtney Cameron September 2017

    Students at Lawrence High School skipped classes Monday to stage a peaceful sit-in protest of a perceived “pervasive culture of discrimination” against LGBT classmates.

  • Football Before Age 12 Linked to Behavioral Issues

    by Rick Maese September 2017

    A new medical study has found that children who play football before age 12 suffer mood and behavior problems later in life...

  • Coach Reinstated After Putting Hurt Player in Game

    by Telegram & Gazette Staff September 2017

    A youth football coach, who was suspended after an injured 10-year-old player was inadvertently returned to a game after he was sidelined by an EMT, has been reinstated.

  • College Football Player Dies After Sudden Illness

    by Mike Plant September 2017

    Offensive lineman Clayton Geib, 21, a senior chemistry major at Wooster, fell ill upon returning to the locker room and died Sunday afternoon at Wooster Community Hospital,

  • Falling Soccer Goal Post Kills Boy, Police Say

    by Alison Fox September 2017

    A 9-year-old boy died on Sunday after a soccer goal post collapsed on him as he played with members of his youth sports group, police said.

  • Coach Suspended for Putting Hurt Player in Game

    by Telegram & Gazette Staff September 2017

    The local American Youth Football association has been placed on probation and one of its coaches suspended after a 10-year-old player was put back in a game after an EMT said the injured player should stay sidelined.

  • Severe Weather Safety at Outdoor Venues

    by Brad Nelson September 2017

    Monitoring the weather, understanding the threat and making the call to evacuate for the safety of players and fans is no easy task, and it's one that venue managers must take seriously.

  • Colgate Disciplines Men's Rowing Team Over Hazing

    by Paul Steinbach September 2017

    Colgate University has informed its men's varsity rowing team that it will not compete during the fall seasons, during the first competition of the spring season or during the post-season following an investigation into alcohol-related hazing.

    The university took swift action once it received the hazing allegations Aug. 29. An investigation was completed on Aug. 30, determining that hazing had occurred.

    "Hazing is inimical to Colgate's values," vice president and dean of the college Paul J. McLoughlin II wrote in a Sept. 1 email, as reported by "Hazing has been shown, in many studies, to not be effective in building bonds or eliciting loyalty."

    The investigation is ongoing, according to The Colgate Maroon-News student newspaper, which reports that disciplinary measures were determined by university vice president and director of athletics Victoria Chun. It is the the first case of hazing Chun has faced in her 10-year tenure as a school administrator.

    In an online statement, Chun noted, “It is imperative that our student-athletes uphold the highest standards academically, athletically and socially. They fully understand that failure to meet these expectations is simply unacceptable, and is a disservice to all other student-athletes on our campus who are dedicated to doing the right thing every day.”

    That said, the decision nonetheless was a difficult one. “I know these kids. We went to London with them — all of them except the first-years. So it was difficult," Chun told the Maroon-News. "But we talk to all of our teams, every varsity sport, and we tell them about hazing — what it is, what the ramifications are. Beyond that, it’s [against] state law.

    “They also sign a Student Athlete Code of Conduct," Chun added. "So I think that’s why it was so disappointing. Because it’s not something our student-athletes don’t know about, or how we feel about it.”

    The student-athletes accepted their disciplinary fate, according to Chun. “I think they were respectful. They listened," she said. "Of course they were disappointed, but I think they were disappointed within themselves versus the actual decision.”

    Chun said the decision was well-received among parents and alumni, and McLaughlin reports that it has been widely supported within the Colgate community. “To date, I have received several notes from faculty, staff and students acknowledging and thanking us for the firm stance we have taken against hazing and the accompanying message notifying the community of the university’s decision," McLoughlin told theMaroon-News.