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Football Coach Charged Wtith Murder

What's crackin' folks?

So one of the national news stories I've been following lately is about Jason Stinson, a high school football coach in Kentucky who was charged recently with reckless homicide over the death of one of his players.

The player, Max Gilpin, 15, died after suffering heat exhaustion during a grueling, extended practice. His temperature reached heights of 107 degrees. And Stinson allegedly denied Gilpin water.

I don't know if I think Stinson should have been charged with murder, but having made a lame attempt - literally; I had bum knees - at high school sports, I'm convinced any time you put your kid on a field or a court these days with some guy you know little about, you're gambling with your kid's health.

I don't think I'm being melodramatic. I had a basketball coach at one of my high schools who called my asthma attacks "sissy fits." There were times I'd have killed for just a few seconds with my inhaler. And no, I didn't complain. To whom? My team mates? My parents? That's not how teenage boys think.

I tease friends and acquaintances who are "helicopter parents," who hover over their kids and refuse to give 'em space. But when it comes to high school competitive sports, I plan on being a helicopter parent one day too.

Don't want any more Max Gilpins in the news.

PS. Follow me: http://twitter.com/jamesburnett.


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Jeni Hill Ertmer

Boy, this is a tough one to chew, James. If a parent it too concerned, they do become as you call 'em "Helicopter Parents" and I do think kids need some leeway with athletics but at the same time, I think there are some coaches who are still overgrown ex-jocks and who have some really mean streaks that they think is a substitute for muscle and character building. Don't do enough laps -you're a wimp. Have a physical issue but willing to try to work on it, around it -some (kids and coaches alike) may label you a wuss. Do all those who coach have the qualifications to be doing that in the first place -I mean specific training in things that can happen to an individual when overheated, overworked, etc.? I kind of doubt that in many cases -especially on the high school level.

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