Friday Night Rights: Middletown Football Coaches Cleared of Charges

The Middletown High School football coaches charged with reckless endangerment after a student-athlete collapsed during a workout on a particularly hot and humid day have been cleared of all charges.  Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant has the story:

School assistant football coaches were dismissed Tuesday after defense attorneys proved water was provided for a player who collapsed during a workout last month.

Christopher K. Ellis and Joshua Hamilton were cleared based on evidence that included security video. Attorney Christopher Morano, who represented Hamilton, said the evidence clearly showed there was no criminal negligence.

“There should never have been an arrest in this situation,” Morano said.

Questions still remain in this now-closed case.  For instance, why were these coaches arrested when there were numerous witnesses on the scene who could have vouched for the coaches’ claims that the players did in fact have access to water?  What witnesses were interviewed?  How did the fact that one player was feeling ill after working out lead to reckless endangerment charges?  Was the alleged lack of water the only factor that led to the charges?

Although this case might present more questions than answers, it does focus attention on the issue of heat-related concerns in high school athletics.  For more on this issue, see the following Connecticut Sports Law articles:

Friday Night Rights: Arrest of Middletown Coaches Evokes Lessons of Stinson Case

Friday Night Rights: Trial of Coach in Player’s Death May Change High School Athletics

Friday Night Rights: Kentucky High School Coach Acquitted

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