CTSportsLaw Readers on Stinson Case, Coaches Liability

RefCropCoaches’ liability is a hot topic in sports law, from Little League to high school football.  Connecticut Sports Law received two interesting comments on the case of Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Stinson and coaching liability, which are worth sharing:

Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Stinson

I’ve followed this case from the beginning on my blog, Your Kid’s Not Going Pro (older stories at http://www.yourkidsnotgoingpro.wordpress.com, more recent stuff at http://www.trueslant.com/bobcook). I’m no lawyer, but I’ve stated consistently that I have a hard time seeing Stinson being convicted of anything, no matter how much a jerk he might have been.

First, the prosecution’s case is weak, and I think it knows it. I talked to a lawyer in Kentucky who said the addition of a wanton endangerment charge is a sign that it’s not sure a reckless homicide conviction is possible.

Second, the prosecution has pulled the stunt of not turning over certain evidence until right before trial — of course, the evidence that its go-to expert said Max Gilpin’s death had more to do with how Adderall mixed with the heat than actual dehydration.

Fortunately, a lot of coaches are already taking heed and, at the least, not pulling the stunt of denying water. But while the death is a terrible tragedy, I have to wonder if this is going to be a high-profile flop for the prosecution.

Coaching Liability

Last year I took a required coaching certification from the CIAC.  They asked how many coaches in the room where soccer coaches. A handfull raised their hands.  He told us we were the worst offenders of this type of activity.  He asked us, how many of us put their starting forward in the goal when they are playing a team that they can absolutely destroy.  We all raised our hands. He told us a true story of how the school and coach were sued by the parents of a girl who was put in goal in such a game.  She dove, hit her head on the post and got a concussion. She was never taught the proper diving technique, kicking technique, etc of a goalie.  They got money.  The instructor told us that by the end of the first class we would be asking ourselves, “do we really want to coach?” He was absolutely right. There are a million reasons not to coach, and regretfully, only a handful of reasons to coach anymore. And, it’s getting worse.  It won’t stop me from coaching, but I can say that I am much more aware of the potential problems.


  1. And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me sartgiht.


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