Former NFL Player, HS Coach Sued for Hitting Student

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The father of a Tennessee high school football player is suing the boy’s former coach, who was also a linebacker with the Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

The father of the Ravenwood High School student is suing Ryan Fowler, Williamson County Schools and the school’s superintendent, alleging that Fowler, a former NFL player, injured his son during a Sept. 10, 2019 practice.

The suit alleges Fowler put on a helmet and pads during the practice and participated in a drill in which he struck the 16-year-old with his shoulder, causing the boy to black out and suffer a complex concussion.

The lawsuit, which was obtained by the local ABC affiliate, argues that Fowler, as a coach, should not have had a helmet and pads on per Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association rules, and that there was no reason Fowler, who was playing defensive linebacker during the drill, to hit the boy who was playing offensive guard.

Practice video of the drill in question has been reviewed.

Fowler was fired as a result of the incident but the boy experience retaliation from peer and even Fowler himself at school events. The boy’s father says the boy’s grades dropped from A’s and B’s to D’s and F’s, and he was eventually forced to switch schools.

The lawsuit also states that Fowler was suspended in 2018 for “violently grabbing a student and slamming him on a table in what Mr. Fowler described as ‘game-like’ activity.' 

The suit seeks damages for battery on behalf of Fowler; negligent, hiring, training, and supervision of WCS and Superintendent Jason Gold; negligence from all parties, as well as prayer for relief.

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