Texas high school football players hospitalized after coach forces 400 push-ups as punishment: report

 

Texas high school football players were reportedly hospitalized after their coach forced them to do 400 pushups in an hour as a punishment.

Rockwall Heath High School head football coach John Harrell is being accused of requiring his players to perform the rigorous task. He has been put on administrative leave as a third-party investigation is underway.

This all came from a letter the school sent to parents, Fox 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

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A general view of Wilson footballs before the game between Georgia State Panthers and Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns on September 19, 2020, at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.
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One mother said her son was forced to do 300 to 400 pushups and was not allowed a water break, the Dallas Morning News reported. Her son was hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney damage or failure.

“As a parent, we send our kids to school trusting that they will be cared for at the highest level. That has been the case until this unfortunate event,” the parent said.

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The paper said at least eight student-athletes were hospitalized after the incident that occurred last Friday in an athletic class.

Rockwall Heath administrators said they learned of the incident on Monday and acted swiftly.

“The district is also taking interim action, including but not limited to, placing Coach Harrell on administrative leave while the investigation is pending and notifying appropriate outside agencies,” the letter to parents read, per the Dallas Morning News. “District administrators and campus personnel have been in contact with the affected families and student-athletes.”

Generic view of a football in grass.
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Rockwall Heath High School, known for its athletics, has had Harrell with their football program since 2019. He has been acting as head coach for one year, while coaching around North Texas in prior seasons.

Brady Luff, captain on the football team, said he did not believe Harrell was punishing players, as he saw the workout. Instead, he said it was “instilling discipline.”

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Luff added that water was available for the players, and they were free to go if need be.

“He’s treated us with nothing but respect, and he loves every single one of us like his own,” Luff said.

Luff’s mother, Stefanie, also did not see anything wrong with Harrell’s workout.

A general view of Stanford footballs before the game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Vanderbilt Commodores at on September 18, 2021, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
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“If anything was going on with this situation that I thought these kids were being harmed, I would’ve been the first person up at the principal’s officer or wherever I need to go to have this shut down,” she noted.