Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made everything for His purpose: even the wicked for their day reckoning for evil.

Both Plowline and Plow Line are acceptable. For the purposes of this research, Plowline is used because it represents a one piece continuous sinister controlling abusive strap. At the shake of the plowline everything starts with a “git up” and a “Gee Haw” command to the mule. That means left and right for the mule and harassment, bulling, belittling, physical and emotional abuse for an athlete.

The phenomenon of child abuse and neglect has been known throughout the centuries. Abuse appears in different groups of children and adults who are supervised by caretakers, who have different relationships, occupations and professions, who are associated with the abused. They are called perpetrators. During the last few years, the problem of athlete abuse by coaches is increasing. Some think of athlete abuse as a dilemma, because those who are injured must penalize or punish the perpetrating coach and protect the abused and other athletes. Others will argue that injuries and mistreatments of athletes are just part of the game. Please dispel that erroneous notion in the beginning, because the health and welfare of our youth are first and foremost.

Since the Olympics in Athens in 2004, the protection of athletes’ rights from improper behaviors, during the training process has become a vital concern. Avoidance of coaching behaviors, which violate individual athlete’s rights, has drawn the attention of some authorities.

Abuse and harassment persists at all levels of sport. It is a serious issue that impacts all participants i.e. the athletes, parents, coaches, officials and entire athletic communities. Sport, some believe, reflects society’s tolerance of violence. “As it relates to sport, violence can be defined as a physical manifestation that bears no direct relationship to the rules, goals and achievements of sport” 107.

The goals of sports are to create a sporting environments with fair play, respect for others that will not tolerate unacceptable violent behaviors. Sports builds good character…only when good characters coach the sports. 8.

There are many grey areas of violence in some sports that are different for the rugged, rough, physical contact sports versus the non contact sports. 107. “All types of abuse can occur in sport as they do in many other institutional contexts such as the workplace, government, religious organizations and the home. Specifically, abuse in sport, whether sexual or not, deters girls and women from participating and developing as athletes. The development and implementation of policies regarding such abuse will help create organizational climates in which women and girls, as well as men and boys, can participate and feel free to report such incidents.

Zabernism and the Power Gap are reported on this web site. The interested readers should review those topics.

Setting policy on verbal, physical and psychological abuse is also likely to decrease the likelihood of such offenses. The Women’s Sports Foundation acknowledges that abuse occurs in athletics and seeks to prevent its occurrence through the development of this policy and position statement.” 119. Currently, violence and abuse in sports have been neglected by medical and health care communities and facilities. Different well meaning organizations have worked to improve education and enlightenment of all parties concerned, particularly the coaches. They have mustered very little permanent affect on sports violence and abuse. They lack leverage and authority. Who will rescue and prevent child and adult physical and psychological (emotional) athlete endangerment and athlete sexual abuse?

The most important advocates in Kentucky for healthy, harmless, safe sports environments for young athletes are the Kentucky Medical Society, KMA, Child Abuse Recognition Education, C.A.R.E., Cabinet for Health and Family Services, CHFS, the Division of Adult and Child Health Improvement, Department for Public Health, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Physicians, Nurses and the entire Health Care community including hospital and other medical and surgical facilities. However, not all of them are advocating participants.

“Dr. Steven Kairys, a professor of pediatrics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., and director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said a major concern of pediatricians with reporting abuse is the judges. One of the most powerful mechanisms for protecting children from abuse is a law that designates school teachers, day care operators, doctors, nurses, and others “mandatory reporters” of child abuse and neglect.”

Kairys said abuse cases are inadequately reported by pediatricians and inadequately investigated, because of untrained social workers, fear of the doctor for disruption of the parent-doctor relationships, paper work, poor communication, and mistrust between Child Protective Services (CPS) and the medical community and unqualified judges.

Doctor Kairys said, some doctors felt that CPS were incompetent and their reports were a waste of time because CPS often failed to follow up sufficiently on the cases that doctors and hospitals report.
The doctors who are most likely to observe physical abuse only account for two to three percent of abuse reports filed. The majority comes from school teachers and other mandatory reporters. 106.

Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 775,000 boys and girls ages 5 to 14 for sports injuries. Every parent who has been on a playground, baseball diamond or youth-soccer field can tell about coaches who insult, harass, and belittle their young children. Behavior that no parent or administrator would tolerate in a classroom often seems acceptable on America’s playing fields, and rarely anyone protests. Many are saying they’ve had enough. They want to purge youth sports of the physical and emotional abuses that result from the emphasis on winning-at-all-costs and have long been called “part of the game.” Educators and children’s health advocates are seeking more supervision and training for the millions of coaches and volunteers nationwide who oversee the approximately 25 million boys and girls who participate in youth sports leagues each year Coaches at public schools are often untrained.

“I don’t think that parents and coaches mean to be mean,” said Beth Campbell, the National Youth Sports Coaches Association’s coach of the year. “They just don’t know any better.” Experts believe that no more than 20 percent of youth-league coaches have received even minimal training in the technical aspects and safety features of the game or in child development. States do not require it, nor do the majority of youth sports leagues. Physicians and Health Care Personnel must be reminded and educated that they risk criminal charges and malpractice claims themselves if they fail to Report Child Athlete and Adult Athlete Abuse. “Mandatory reporting and screening laws are proliferating. 64.

C.A.R.E., Child Abuse Recognition Education a division of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky reported that “The Child Safety Branch of DCBS (Department of Community Based Services which has a branch in each Kentucky county) has responded to the question regarding coaches as caregivers.

“Our agency [DCBS] investigates abuse and neglect allegations involving situations where a person is providing care, has custody or has control of a child. Teachers, camp counselors, bus drivers, babysitters, grandparents, coaches etc fit in to that category if they are left to care for a child and the parent is not present (for supervision and caregiving). To my knowledge we are investigating these type situations in this manner across the state. If [DCBS] staff have questions about whether a person falls into these categories, they can consult with Central Office or their regional attorney.” That is a very important policy statement.

Sports participation waivers are signed by all parents of young athletes or young adult athletes before participation in an organized sports activity. Inadequate supervision in sports is associated with an increased risk of injury. Increased supervision is associated with the prevention of athletes’ injuries. Coaches appear, in some instances, to hide behind this waiver. Some categorize all harmful incidents, whether in safe or harmful sports environments, as accidents. “If there is an accident it is just part of the game.” Some coaches believe they are immune from suit, dismissal or reprimand because of the waiver.

The Supreme Court has ruled that waivers cannot void liability for gross negligence. Gross negligence is reckless, wanton or willful misconduct, not mere neglect. 100.

However, sports participation waivers do not prevent athlete abuse reporting. Coaches are not immune from athlete abuse reporting because a waiver has been signed. Doctors, health care personnel and everyone should report coaches who physically and emotionally mistreat, endanger and sexually abuse athletes. The DCBS policy in Kentucky is to investigate coaches as caregivers when endangerment and abuse has been suspected and reported.

Gross Negligence is sometimes difficult to prove. But child athlete endangerment and sexual abuse and reporting negligence are not as difficult. Rescue of Abused Athletes and Prevention of Athlete Abuse should not be hindered due to lack of Failure to Report by doctors, health care personnel and health care facilities and their social services. The recent spike in sports related injuries that are the result of a coach’s inadequate supervision, protection and caregiving is a Public Health Problem that has, heretofore, fallen through the cracks of Public Health due to neglected awareness, prevention, mandatory reporting, incomplete investigations and justice.

“What is wrong with a society and Public Health governmental agencies, that blatantly neglect the needs and welfare of child (and adult) athletes, that it’s charged with educating and protecting. Placing so much importance on winning in sports is the culprit. Are we that out of touch that we’ve lost our perspective on what really matters in life? Are too many parents making a “deal with the devil” and turning their kids over to coaches with questionable methods just because these coaches supposedly produce “champions and have an inside position for scholarships?” Is winning more important than the safety and mental health of the athletes? 50.


My niece, Shelby Drew Conley, gave me a plaque, that I proudly display on my home’s den wall. It says “for God so loved us, He gave us football”. That plaque addressed the popularity of American football among athletes, coaches, institutions, communities, fans and how much football means to me. Football is extremely popular. Of course, God intended for all His children to receive protection from perpetrators, including coaches.

When I was young, I began playing organized football in grade school. In the third grade, I began missing piano lessons. Miss Ora Mae Preston, my teacher reported to my mother that I had gone missing. Mother discovered that, since my older brother, Maurice a fifth grader, had gone out for the 5th and 6th grade football team, I decided to join him. I was issued a uniform. That was the thrill of my life. My father sent me to the local “drug store”, so called in that time, to purchase the required athletic supporter. Not knowing what it was for, I became puzzled when the pharmacist asked me what size. In those days they were dispensed by the pharmacist. When father came home from work he asked me to try it on and I appeared with the strap around my head. I was logical that it would be well suited beneath my helmet.

My life was characterized by self discipline and determination mixed with athletic ability for any sport and an extreme passion for playing the games of football, baseball and less so basketball. My attention to detail and self conditioning were described in The Thin Thirty by Shannon Ragland in 2007. I enjoyed great success in football and baseball and became recognized for my ability and performances. 80.
Ultimately, I would leave 2 professional baseball offers on the table for a University of Kentucky football scholarship. 1961 was 2 years before the first professional baseball draft in 1963. Baseball players were individually made professional offers by major league teams.

Thus, I arrived at some of the following conclusions in this book based on my own sports experiences and developed concerns about coaching endangerment and abuse after experiencing first hand and living through coaching endangerment and abuse while participating in University of Kentucky football.

Athletes must be in excellent physical condition to participate in football games. Coaches endeavor to condition and “coach-them-up” in preparation for the games. However, sometimes, the coaches, themselves, lack proper conditioning and training. For instance in Kentucky, many amateur, volunteer self employed, non-school coaches don’t have the educational background and experience to coach American football and other sports. Some have never played the game they coach. So what these coaches expect from their players, they did not expect of themselves. Even coaches in middle school, high school and colleges, at times, have inadequate preparation for coaching the game they are hired or volunteer to coach.

Some coaches, not all, have actually glorified Bear Bryant in the “Junction Boys”, the book and ESPN documentary. It seems, that the “Junction Boys”, have served some coaches as a training documentary. “Lining up and busting the guy across form you in the mouth” won’t win football games. While American football is a tough, rough, physical game, even when played fair and square with good sportsmanship, a team must be able to execute their offense and defense. “The Junction Boys” did not teach that concept, both in their surreal life or the documentary. This is where the Plowline comes-in.

My father attended the University of Alabama. He enrolled in the mid 1930’s. Bear Bryant attended Alabama and played football from 1933 to 1935. Bear Bryant was known as the “other end”, because Don Hudson was the star end on the Alabama Rose Bowl team in 1935.

After I became a football recruit following my success, my father declared that I would not participate in recruitment by Alabama. Many other schools, on the other hand, recruited and visited our home and me during the recruiting process. Serious consideration was only given Oklahoma and Georgia Tech because of master coaches Bud Wilkerson and Bobby Dodd, respectively and Duke and University of Kentucky, because of their coaches Bill Murry and Blanton Collier, combined with the long history of Duke Medical School and the beginning of the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky. You name a successful program from the PAC 10 to the SEC and Big 10 and I was on their recruiting list. Many visited tiny Paintsville, KY after purchasing a map.

My father refused to entertain Alabama coaches in our home. He advised me that the University of Alabama would not be the place for me to pursue football and study pre-medicine while playing Bryant’s brand of football. Why would there be a university in the United States in 1961 that would not be suited for me to do both?
As it turned out, during my college football journey, I found the answer.

He was worried about Alabama’s history of football brutality, win-at-all-costs philosophy and lack of concern for athlete’s academics, when Bryant was the head coach. He knew I could take the brutality and realized I would be sorely disappointed it I could not pursue Medicine. My father was a student of many sports games and a passionate sports fan and firmly believed in a good education for his children. He went to Alabama to train in boxing. There were many great college fighters there at the time. He had knowledge of Alabama football while he was enrolled there and knew the coaches did not emphasize academics for their football athletes at that time. He did not want his son to be mistreated and abused and his medical career to be threatened by Bryant. My father and family valued a good education. My father must have gained knowledge about Bryant’s personal reputation as a player and his individual characteristics while at Alabama and must have had first hand information about the bullying of Bear Bryant. Bryant himself called himself a bully in telling his story.

I was taught that sportsmanship included playing without cheating and bullying. I was never allowed to “trash talk”. My father and my high school coach, Walter Brugh, instructed me to say “good hit”, when I was slobber-knocked, then smile, jump up and return to the huddle.

What is it about a sport that results in injury, catastrophic injury, death and post traumatic stress anxiety reactions, during pre-season conditioning, prior to the season’s beginning? Some of the morbidity and mortality in all sports occurs during closed practices in the United States. An example of the extent of the problem was an article reviewed in preparation titled “Malpractice During Practice”. The authors pointed their fingers at the rampant inadequate supervision of football practices and coaching mistreatments of athletes and abuses. Closed practices are a warning sign of abuse.

Recognition and regulation of coaching abuse has been relegated to our court systems, as it goes unreported and unregulated by our state Health Departments and Public Health doctors, Child Protection Agencies, schools, health care personal and hospitals nationwide.

American football is extremely popular, in part, because Americans have the ability to play the game. Americans love to play and watch football. The popularity of college football is increasing by leaps and bounds. In the 2007 NCAA football season, the attendance according to the gate receipts was 48,751,861 for the 619 member schools. That was an increase of 842,548 college football fans. Per game totals were also broken for all divisions of college football. 24.
American football has surpassed baseball as the most popular spectator sport in the U.S. since 1990. The National Football Leagues championship game, the Super Bowl, is watched by almost half of the US television households and is televised in 150 countries. The 32-team National Football League (NFL) is the most popular professional league in the United States.

Large Division I college stadiums are consistently sold out and the college games are widely televised. College football is popular, with many major colleges and universities playing NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I football, and consistently selling out huge stadiums. College games are widely televised and widely watched. The lower NCAA divisions and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) also have record attendances by football fans. High school football is very popular and in the South, games attract tens of thousands of fans. There are amateur, club and youth football teams and many “semi-pro” teams, where the players are paid to play as part time weekend jobs 25.

Many coaches possess reliable knowledge about athletes because of the coach’s intuition. Mentoring, great coaches understand and have a relationship with their players. Blanton Collier, head coach of the University of Kentucky and the Cleveland Browns, commenting on an opinion that Jim Brown was a poor blocker said, “Man O’ War was a fabulous racehorse. Undoubtedly he could have pulled a plow, too, but his greater talent was running.” 46.

Blanton Collier realized Jimmy Brown’s valuable attributes and developed Brown as a mentor would develop a thoroughbred. “God so loved the world, He gave us” credible athletic coaches, too. Credible coaches are the coaches who know the x’s and o’s of the game. They can teach the techniques and strategies of the sport they coach, whether the sport is American football, basketball, baseball, soccer and so on. They are also field coaches. They know how to coach the players on the field, in the arena and on the floor.

Jimmy Brown said of Blanton Collier when he took the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns, “I was ready for his football genius, but I wasn’t ready for his humanity”. 124.

Mentor, credible coaches stand above and different form coercive abusive coaches, because the credible coach earns the respect of their athletes. They follow the Golden Rule. The credible coach treats the athletes with respect and they take responsibility for their players’ health and welfare and protect their athletes. Credible Coaches develop a positive relationship with their players and recognize the player’ effort, when the athlete plays well. The credible coach’s athletes play for the love of the game.

Conversely, a “field coach”, who does not know the x’s and o’s, might be a coercive coach who is abusive to the athletes. His or her athletes play out of fear. The coercive coach motivates the players like a mule driver would motivate his mules in a field of cotton. They try to beat the athletes into a great performance like you’d beat a “rented mule”. Beaten “rented mules” perform hitched to the plowline, or the rein of submission, rather than the halter-less freedom of superior, dedicated, sacrificing, self-disciplined athletes who play for the love of the game.

On the playing field, on the court, and in the arena, the coercive coach renders the athletes as their crop, just like they would a field of cotton. But, in this scenario, the crop is not the cotton, but the mules. The abusive coach is called the mule driver or mule digger. Winning is about the coach, and not the athlete. It is about total control by a totalitarian coach. The abusive, coercive, totalitarian coach regulates every aspect of the players athletic and private life out of fear, like the mule digger would regulate his “rented mule” tethered to the plowline. The abuse coach takes advantage of the Power Gap and misuses their authority.


Hurston’s publication Mules and Men described the control, maltreatment, and cruelty of some men of their wives and women companions. “Y’all lady people ain’t smatter than all men folks. You got plow lines on some of us, but some of us are too smart for that”. That description is very appropriate for the conditions in which our 2 main groups of athletes find themselves. 125. Frank Deford wrote an extensive article about Robert Victor “Bull” “Cyclone” Sullivan, who coached East Mississippi Junior College in Scooba, Mississippi in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Deford described him as the toughest coach ever to coach the game of football. He was so tough he had 2 tough nicknames, “Bull” and “Cyclone”. The old tough coach said, “There are two reasons people play football,” Bull Cyclone was heard to declare. “One is love of the game. The other is out of fear. I like the second reason a helluva lot better.” He terrorized his players and they feared him.

“Bull Cyclone” was one of my coaches during the High School All American football game in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1961. Our South team defeated the North and I was named Most Valuable Player because of our team’s outstanding blocking and offensive play timing and precise execution. Any football running back can advance the ball through wide open holes in the line of scrimmage. “Bull” was very loud and very intense when he coached our all star line “Bull” certainly knew how to teach blocking, precision and timing. He masterfully taught the linemen to only go on the snap of the ball. “Bull” had a “way about him”, as we say in the South.

“Bull Cyclone” spent his own early years struggling through a hungry country childhood, getting wounded and killing in close combat as a Marine and then coming home to raise a family and till a tiny plot of American soil for which he fought. Once that would have meant working 40 acres with a mule and a plow.”

Instead, “What Bull Cyclone turned was a parcel of earth 100 yards long and about half as wide, scratching out boys as his crop.” 37. Galatians 6: 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. In terms of coaching abuse, the Coach who supervises and coaches his athletes with abuse will reap a corrupted abusive crop of athletes. Playing out of Fear was playing in response to threats and dangers from a coach. That type fear is connected to pain. Fear is a survival mechanism and results because of a specific, strong, negative stimulus. Playing American football as the result of fear at the time and later in life cause nightmare attacks of terror, fright, panic, and alarm. An athlete subsequent to threatening brainwashing tyrannical coaching terror and endangerment and fear will awaken to imminent danger in a nightmare and manifest many emotional symptoms later in life, which I have personally experienced.

Most coaches don’t understand the long term affects and how fearing terrorizing punishments will plague a young athlete. 22. Winning-at-all-costs takes it toll on the health and welfare of athletes. Their is a long term impact on an athlete.

I had the privilege, when I was a young student athlete, to play for my high school coach, Walter Brugh and my recruiting college coach, Blanton Collier. Both men were outstanding, great, mentor coaches. Because of their style, coaching abuse was foreign to me. I played for the love of the game, not fear.

Some of the fears that “Bull” “Cyclone” and his kind threatened were the fear of the coach, fear of God, fear of being called a quitter, fear of returning to poverty, fear of returning to the cotton fields and plowing with the mules, fear of returning to chopping up “pup wood”, fear of disappointing father, family, and community, fear of disappointing the high school coach and school, and the fear of becoming shunned and ostracized by their hometown community, and fear of the unknown. Southern coaches were particularly notorious for coaching out of those fears.

My research found that coaching through fear was associated primarily with the Southern Coach. The Southern coaches’ club developed many disciples who preached those fears to their athletes if the athlete did not follow the Southern coach’s instruction. I found no association with the lack of integration, at that time, in Southern American football and coaching out of fear. There appeared to be an association between players who played with fear and with poor white “lesser players”.

The tradition of mules as mascots for Army dates back to 1899, when an officer at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot decided the team needed a mascot to counter the Navy goat. Mules were an obvious choice, as they were used as haulers, beasts of burden, for Army gear for generations. 22.

This year the Milwaukee Brewer’s acquired pitcher CC Sabathia. The reporter described Sabathia as being treated like a “rented mule”, because CC was being allowed to pitch ‘until his arm falls off’. “Well, that’s not entirely fair because the Brew Crew certainly doesn’t want his arm to fall off before he takes them to the World Series. But after that, whatever happens, happens”. 39. Of course, that is professional ball.

In the article about Michigan State running back Javon Ringer, early in the 2008 season, Javon was figured to be one worn-out dude this season. He was described as a “BEAST OF BURDEN”. “Ringer carried 27 times in the loss at California, the most of anyone in the Big Ten last week.” The coach said they checked Ringer frequently and he was good to go. Ringer gained just 81 yards after 27 carries for an average of 3 yards per carry. “As we enter into every game, we’re going with Javon until he tires.” In defense of the coach, Javon wanted back in the game after he tired. 41.

Athletes are sometimes treated as “beasts of burden” like working animals for the sake of winning-at-all-costs. Mules have been considered very tough and strong draft animals who require less of everything, even water. They can be tethered to a plowline and beaten into performing for the master. Out of fear, both the athlete and the mule are conditioned and perform for the mule coach, mule digger, and driver in those similar situations. In those similar situations, like the mule, the athlete, who is playing out of fear, becomes a beast of burden. It is a sad commentary, but the athlete, who is brutally conditioned and plays out of fear, realizes their only sports dignity, is performing like a beast of burden.

Beating and conditioning an athlete like a rented mule is beating the athlete physically and psychologically, as you would a mule that does not belong to you. Without hesitancy, the abusive, coercive, coach mistreats the athlete for his or her own interest, gain and prominence without fear of reprimand from the sports nation. The mule digger abusive coach has no respect for the player as a human, accepts no responsibility for his or her health and welfare, develops no positive relationship with the athlete and does not recognize the athlete when he or she successfully puts forth extreme effort. Neglect of the 4 R’s of coaching are the full complement of an abusive coach. 40.

Student athletes often reject the notion of becoming beasts of burden. They refuse to be treated and beaten like rented mules. “The elite colleges should issue the following exhortation to their students, male and female: ‘As you well know, the diploma you will receive from this institution will open the doors of influence: from medical research to non-profit directorship, from corporate leadership to stewardship of the arts. In accepting one of the precious few student seats at this institution, you tacitly accept the responsibility to society to make the most of that coveted degree. We encourage you to aim high, to use that degree to make the biggest difference you can for humankind.”

Likewise the coach should, after receiving one of the precious few head coaching positions, accept his responsibility to his athletes. While the coach does not need an elite degree to become a head coach, he or she needs an elite understanding of the 4 R’s of coaching, i.e. Respect, Responsibility, Relationship, and Recognition. The mentor, credible coach has a lofty, influential, position in our society. Often they have a greater influence on an athlete than parents.

Meanwhile, in another article the author said he “continues to drag himself through life like an ox yoked to a plow, a beast of burden. ‘I don’t know how long I can keep this up.’ Statistically, he’s right. Medical science is unequivocal. stress and overwork kills. No doubt, that contributes to their being five widows for every widower. Imagine the additional stress and overwork of the student athlete subjected to an abusive, mule digger coach, dragged through athletic competition like a mule yoked to a plow. 42.

In the song “Beast Of Burden” by Rolling Stones the first verse says “I’ll never be your beast of burden. My back is broad but it’s a hurting All I want is for you to “take care” of me I’ll never be your beast of burden. “Take care” was substituted for make love. 43.

I was a better than average running back and quarterback, a student of the game. I wasn’t born into a kingdom of fabulous football players like the Mannings. Archie Manning, and his sons Peyton and Eli are prime examples of a family of elite quarterbacks, who never became beasts of burden. These 3 elite quarterbacks were carefully guided and groomed to success and they averted the yoke and plowline of a mule digger, abusive coach. All were properly advised, before they selected their university choice, where they would play American college football. They played and play for the love of the game and are the monarchs of success.

Charlie Bradshaw, the abusive football coach in 1962 at the University of Kentucky was known to belittle our team members with a host of derogatory names. “Turd” was one of his most popular demeaning names. Another was “damn shave tail”. Until now, I didn’t have the foggiest notion what that meant. The term “Shave tail”, which by the Second World War meant a green officer just out of O.C.S., actually referred to untrained mules during the Indian wars of the late 19th century. Untrained mules that did not know to line up at their own pack saddle and that might kick without warning, had their tails shaved. Mules were trained to follow a mare with a bell around her neck, and usually did not require a handler with halter line in hand. These were the Bell Sharps. The mule is the sterile offspring of horse and donkey. Individual mules were considered to be expendable.

Many mules were worked to the point that they died in harness. There was a callous attitude of wasting its badly needed pack animals. It is easy to understand how this same attitude by general staff officers extended to the common soldier, who was considered to be cannon fodder in the Civil War and wasted in suicide charges against machine gun emplacements in World War I. Some abusive coaches were accustomed to wasting their recruits. They were worn down in weight and some died. 44.

During Charlie Bradshaw’s first year, 1962, at the University of Kentucky individual players were considered expendable. Players were mistreated to the point that they suffered both physical and psychological abuses at the hands of the new Bradshaw coaches. The callous attitude by the abusive Bradshaw coaches of wasting and chasing off UK’s badly needed players, who were considered cannon fodder, or targets, by the coaches, and was like the army officer’s attitude toward the army shave tail mules. Bradshaw was grossly negligent, intentionally evil, when coaching at U.K. in 1962. His affliction was epidemic among his assistants. My teammates and I can personally can attest to all their abusive behaviors.

Many of my teammates lost 20% and more of their body weight when they practiced and played under Bradshaw. Most of the loss was the result of lack of water and dehydration. Our attrition was in size, girth, strength and numbers, as players intelligently pulled out from the team.

Because athletes have to be in excellent condition to perform, play and win their games, particularly football, and coaches’ physical abuse is accepted by some. There is a pervasive attitude in the United States is that a coach can treat and beat the players like “rented mules” and win-at-all-costs. Athletes don’t die while they are sitting on the bench. They die after over exertion, usually during or after running sprints of distances or drills in pre-season or conditioning. The coach drives them or they drive themselves out of fear. The same physical, verbal, and emotional abuse would not be tolerated when handed out by a teacher in a class room. Why are they tolerated on the plying field, baseball diamond or playing court?

Frank Deford in his Sports Illustrated article said “Bull Cyclone” Sullivan of East Mississippi State was the first of the Bear Bryant clone of abusive coaches. Bear Bryant said that he wasn’t near as tough as “Bull Cyclone”. Sullivan was so ornery that no big school would hire him as head coach. “Bull” was a mule driver coach. In Scooba, Kemper County, Mississippi in 1950. The population was 16,000; today only 10,000 remain. The occupations were primarily agricultural. They planted cotton or soybeans and cut pulpwood—”pu’pwood,” as everybody says.” In the 1960’s Scooba’s main street had hitching posts. The state was populated by Baptists and bootleggers. Scooba was described as an impoverished outpost. “Bull Cyclone had been reared nearby—”So far out in the country you could still smell pu’pwood on his breath,” according to his old friend Carlton Fleming.”

“Bull Cyclone” as football coach was gigantic person in that small, impoverished town. In 1961 during the High School Football All American game, “Bull”, in our team picture appeared to be a man big in stature. Nothing out of the ordinary happened during our High School All American all star practices and game, however, from “Bull”.

Sullivan appeared to be the first to entice servicemen with the GI Bill for football. He even recruited some soldiers at various posts to abandon service for their country to play for Scooba. There were wild tales of such outsiders arriving to play football. “Bull Cyclone” a mammoth man, who was around 6’5″ and 285 pounds, took no backtalk. The East Mississippi catalog said, We also teach good sportsmanship and self-denial in habits and attitudes. “During Bull Cyclone’s first season East went 8-3 and 21-9 for three years, which was more victories than EMS had enjoyed in its history.

“Bull Cyclone” would recruit in so many players, and then begin to weed out the ones who did not fit his abusive system, during summer practice, and then “dress out” the survivors. Bull Cyclone let everyone know his philosophy. A player would only get a scholarship if he didn’t quit and often wasn’t given the scholarship to sign until he got on the bus for the first game. “Running players off’ was a fairly common football practice in those days. It was, for example, what cemented Bryant’s reputation as a copy cat when he started coaching at Texas A&M in 1954. You didn’t get cut, you got run off the team. Or perhaps, more often, you chose to run yourself off. “Bull ran off more All-Americans than he kept,” says Don Edwards , who played quarterback at Scooba in the late 1950s.
Sullivan’s old players get together, and wonder about the players who quit. It wasn’t dishonorable to get run off. A lot did, and near everybody almost did. The survivors wonder what ever happened to the others. C.R. Gilliam of Carrolton, Ala. said, “We’d practice four hours in the morning and then four more hours in the afternoon. I was playing defensive guard and got my nose broken. It was bleeding real bad and pushed around to the side, but Bull just kicked my butt and told me to get back in there.” C. R. went back home to Carrolton.

“About 200 of Bull Cyclone’s players became coaches, and he’d tell them, son, don’t never worry about a player who leaves. The only thing for you to do is find out why he left and work on it for the next one comes along like that.” Coaching, then in the good old days, wasn’t exactly like the ministry. The idea wasn’t to save all the souls, but to win-at-all-costs.

The ones that got run off were on their own, but the ones who stayed would be affected far out of proportion.” Bull Cyclone, like a lot of coaches, especially football coaches, had more impact on many boys’ lives than did their fathers. It was all very basic, really. “You either loved him or you didn’t stay,” says Bill Buckner, Scooba’s best quarterback, who was the coach at Hinds J.C. “He pushed everyone to the point where they either left him or they gave him what they were capable of.”

“Yeah,” says Bill (Sweet William) Gore, a retired postman who was Bull Cyclone’s good friend. “They’d think he was killing a boy out there when all he was doin’ was gettin’ his attention.” “Sure, we broke some ribs and noses going one-on-one with ourselves at halftime, but understand that what Bull did didn’t come out of cruel rural ignorance. He was a smart man and he was playing on the psyche. “Bull Cyclone made sure, though, that no one on the team felt safe. Sometimes he would advise his players, “I’ve killed more men than I can stack on this football field.” That usually got their attention.

Sgt. Sullivan had fought the last battles of the Pacific with the First Marines, ending up on Okinawa, where he was wounded on June 16, 1945. Maybe that’s why he thought he could demand so much of his players. He never quite separated war and football. To spice up practices Bull Cyclone would sometimes have the managers wrap old mattresses around pine trees to make blocking targets. The idea was to see if anybody could slam into a tree hard enough to knock off a pinecone. Try it. Or, if he thought things were slack during a scrimmage, he would scream, “Get after it!” and the linemen were automatically obliged to choose up and start fighting one another.

From his Parris Island days, Bull Cyclone borrowed the idea of an obstacle course, adding a wrinkle of his own—a trip wire in the tall grass that the managers yanked as the weary players came through. From another part of the course, Bull Cyclone would hurl bricks at the players as they tried to regain their balance after clambering over a wall. He would miss, but barely. He did, however, get their attention. Probably his most famous gambit was to hold scrimmages at the edge of the pond, which is located at the bottom of a gentle slope, down from where Mr. Smith’s pasture used to be. Bull Cyclone came up with the scheme in order to test goal-line defenses. He took his defensive unit and lined it up in the shallow water, which came up to about the players’ knees. Then Bull Cyclone had the offense storm down the hill. It “scored” if the running back could make it into the water.

Scooba boys were the last in the country to wear leather helmets, because Bull Cyclone believed that the hard modern helmets caused more injuries than they prevented. He thought his players would be better off with the nice, soft leather helmets—especially if they were decked out with skull and crossbones. Bull Cyclone was above taking the rules as far as they could go. Among other things, Bull Cyclone threw a lot of objects, from salt tablets up to and including a huge axle-grease drum. Bull Cyclone destroyed a chair by smashing it against a table, kicked any number of things, drove his fist clear through a blackboard and, to use the singular Mississippi expression, “forearmed” a variety of stationary objects. He would teach football players to be men, and everybody else he could to be patriots and Christians. ” The coach who had spent a life time hewing grown-ups out of pu’pwood had shaped himself into a whole man, too. He was a Neanderthal man, more backward than his Woodland Culture people.

Rick Telanders’s book, The Hundred Yard Lie, was originally published in 1989 and again in 1996. Many in sports say its message is applicable today. The message is that “college football is a corrupt system that exploits players in a money-making endeavor that has no relationship to the educational process. That corruption extends to professional football coaching”. Winning-at-all-costs can sometimes in some situations be profitable.

A few years later, win-at-all-cost coaching was infectious in the Northern U.S. From the North came Vince Lombardi who was born in Brooklyn, New York. Lombardi became famous while coaching the NFL Green Bay Packers. His famous quote was, “winning isn’t everything, its the only thing.” 22. “He has corrupted football coaching more than any other man before or since. Because he won games and bullied his players in a way that quite literally dehumanized them. He opened the door for all kinds of abuses in the name of winning. Telander said, “I have had several Lombardi-type coaches in my own sporting career, and not just in football, and I strongly believe they did more damage to me and my teammates than they had any right to.” The boot camp mentality of football practices only appears to be less obvious, but is still present everywhere. 23.

Lombardi was an assistant’ at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His coaching style was greatly influenced by Colonel Red Blaik, the head coach. Lombardi was offensive line coach. Blaik’s demanded football precise execution. That would become a hallmark of Lombardi’s NFL teams. Lombardi coached at West Point for five seasons, with varying results. Lombardi was known for his philosophy and motivational skills. Lombardi’s speeches are often quoted today. He is well known as being totally committed to winning. Lombardi had a 105-35-6 record as head coach and he never had a losing season. His Packers recorded three consecutive NFL championships in 1965, 1966, and 1967; winning the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi died at age 57 of intestinal cancer. 22.

“Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate” Lombardi said. 123. Bullying, abusive coaches and athletes, who respond to bullying, abusive behaviors, are attracted to each other on the professional sport level. After all, choosing the profession of football for your income is different than a student athlete who will not work as an athlete all of his or her lifetime. Coaches, who get inside their players and motivate them with trust and lead them as a mentor, have a more difficult cerebral task, that is appealing to the student athlete. The student athlete values x’s and o’s. From blackboards and power points they will learn to earn their living.


When I was about 10 years old, in the early 1950’s, my family would visit my uncle Melvin Wheeler, in Lexington, who lived across the street from “The Bear”. His daughter, Linda, my cousin, and I would jump over Bear Bryant’s fence and play football with Paul Jr., who could not run, catch, kick or do anything with a football. I never understood how he was the son of Bear Bryant and could not play football. Was it that Bear Bryant’s bear wrestling was not a very athletic spectacle? It was rumored that Bryant lost to the bear. Then he ran and hid when the bear’s muzzle came off. Maybe the nick name “Bear” was not a complementary name but a nick name in jest that poked fun at his inability for wrestling the bear. Details of the bear wrestling makes one wonder. See The Bear Bryant Story. Paul Jr. inherited his lack of ability from someone. Maybe Bear made up for his lack of athleticism and ability with size and bullying because of his large stature, like Bull Sullivan.

Linda stayed nights with Paul Jr. and said Bear would become loud and angry at times. Football is a stressful game for coaches and leads to a life of illness and early death, for some coaches. The UK team bus would stop in front of Bear’s house and pick up Paul Jr. and Linda and take them to practice. UK practiced on Idle Hour Golf Course when UK built the practice field with the tower. Linda had a crush on Vito “Babe” Parilli, the UK quarterback. We lived in Paintsville and I remember saying how strange the people in Lexington talked, when we visited my uncle and his family. Uncle Melvin was forever going to buy my brother and me a pony. That never happened.

Were Bear Bryant’s coaching disciples mentored properly by Bryant in the 4 R’s of coaching? Or were they coerced in the win-at-all-costs, commando, bullying propaganda after terrorization? Retracing Coach Bear Bryant’s coaching history might elucidate the answer to these questions.

His football coaching history began when Bryant was hired by Maryland while still on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Geary Eppley, athletic director at Maryland, waited for Bryant’s Navy discharge until 5 days prior to the opening game. Eppley was concerned about Maryland’s opening game and wondered about having a team with no practice and how they would be able to compete. Bryant told him not to worry they would have a completive team opening day. 1.

Bryant arrived Monday on a bus. Bryant came to the Maryland campus accompanied by 16 men still in their Navy uniforms. Bryant rushed them to the registrar’s office, enrolled them under the GI Bill. They began practice and appeared to be accomplished football players from the start. Later it was found out that these 16 had been practicing off the record since August. They defeated, a small school, Guilford College of North Carolina 60-6. Maryland won six, lost two and tied one that season. Kentucky began recruiting Bryant for head football coach. The Maryland students revolted when they learned of Bryant’s possible departure to Kentucky.

Bryant took a bad UK football team and won 7 of 10 games in 1946, after he brought in freshman who had become eligible to play after the war. He repeated his Maryland method of operation. The next 1947 season he repeated another successful schedule and Kentucky won the Great Lakes Bowl defeating Villanova.

Coach Bryant became a great “recruiter”. His tactics were questioned by opponents and the NCAA. UK was fined by the SEC, and the sanction cost a Kentucky guard from East Chicago, Ill., named Gene Donaldson, his last year of eligibility just when he was about to become an All-America. When recruiting Donaldson, Bryant dispatched two fake priests to assure the Donaldson family that a Catholic could worship within a few blocks of the Kentucky campus. This ploy was to snake Donaldson away from Notre Dame and Frank Lehey. Donaldson was charged with receiving $5,000 from a benefactor. Donaldson signed with Kentucky, but later lost his eligibility because even though the former infraction had not been proved, Donaldson’s summer employment was an infraction. Bryant’s cheating cost UK and Donaldson in the end. Bryant’s history was that of a great recruiter. It was gained by unethical coaching conduct as later discovered.

In 1949 Bryant and Kentucky went to the Orange Bowl and in 1950 UK won the first SEC conference football championship and his team went to the Sugar Bowl and won one of his greatest victories, beating Oklahoma, 13-7. In 1951 Kentucky played in the Cotton Bowl, and in 1953, he finally defeated the rival from Tennessee,
27-21. Bryant resigned and left for Texas A&M, leaving an uproar in Lexington. Bryant’s ego struggle with UK basketball coach Adolph Rupp erupted after Rupp was presented with a Cadillac and Bryant a gold watch after both had very successful seasons. So the tale goes.
Bryant was named athletic director and head football coach at Texas A&M. There the A&M players were subjected to physical and psychological abuse, bullying and horrific conditions. The stage was set before, and, now, was complete with the win-at-all-cost method of coaching by Bryant. Many of Bryant’s disciple coaches would later adapt his methods. 2. More abusive coaches were at large and would coach college and high school athletes and playing out of fear was perpetuated.

ESPN produced and broadcast a film “The Junction Boys,” which described the abusive mistreatments and bullying by the coaches during the 1954 training camp at Texas A&M. Bryant abused and bullied his players down form 111 to 35 losing 76 of is players. 76 players “pulled out”. “Bryant later admitted that all the players — the ones who stayed and the ones who left alike — had been mistreated by him. To coaches of Bryant’s generation, a football scholarship wasn’t an invitation to play a game but an alternative to picking cotton or working in a textile mill, or cutting ‘pup’ wood It wasn’t about a student athlete. It was about escaping poverty, hard labor and the negative expectations associated with a hopeless impoverished life. A scholarship was about the prominence of the coach and the proceeds of the school. The coercive, abusive Coach Bryant, would coach his players out of fear to win-at-all-costs.
While Bryant’s background helped to explain his treatment of his players, it didn’t excuse it, a fact which, to his credit, he came to acknowledge.” The “Junction Boys” documentary described how not to treat student football athletes. It described the abusive way you bully football players like plow boy share croppers bully plowline mules, instead of university student athletes.

Bryant admitted himself; he was no student He defied school and its authorities. Later at UK, Charlie Bradshaw would reenact the same tragic football scenario. Coach Blanton Collier had recruited men of character and student athletes to the University of Kentucky to play football. In addition to being good students with character, there were many talented, superior, athletes and all-state football players. There were 8 high school all Americans among our class of 48. The 1961 UK freshman football class was the class with the most Kentucky football allstaters in Kentucky’s history.

Coach Collier was a mentor and teacher. Education and learning were at the core of his football program. Collier was inducted later into the University of Kentucky’s Department of Education Hall of Fame. Few coaches have received that recognition. He knew exactly how to use the blackboard. Unlike Bryant and Bradshaw, Coach Collier believed that student athletes at the University of Kentucky, should be given every opportunity to succeed in their university study. He provided an environment that enhanced the student athlete’s success. He did not recruit “lesser” players. He believed that the most accomplished football player was equipped with intelligence, ability and passion.

After Coach Collier was dismissed, the UK administration handed off our quality players to Charlie Bradshaw, who, like Bryant, had the plow-boy, share-cropper mentality. Bradshaw lettered four years as a player for Bryant at Kentucky after serving in the Marines during World War II. A squad of lesser players were Bradshaw’s kind of mules, who, like “Bull Cyclone”, would plow a 100 yards of pay dirt with Bradshaw scratching out lesser boys as his crop. Coach Collier’s last class recruited at UK and his previous classes were composed mostly of men who were too smart to be tied to the plowline like the mules driven by an Arkansas plow boy. The plowline mentality was unacceptable to most of us. A handful finished their time at UK with Bradshaw. We others admired their tenacity, but the majority had other resources and “pulled out” to further academic and/or sports careers. All the football athletes who “pulled out” became successful.

Twenty-five years later, Bear Bryant attended a reunion of the “Junction Boys.” College football’s greatest abuser and bully-boy coach apologized to the players he had mistreated. The apology was definition in and of itself. Some described Bryant as a great football disciplinarian. He was the greatest fear monger, not disciplinarian at A&M by his own admission. Bryant was told that most of his players at A&M had forgiven him. But some wondered if his “Junction Boys” players ever reconciled with him. Christian forgiveness does not necessitate reconciliation, meaning the want of close association again. Bear Bryant was buried in Birmingham, Alabama in 1983. The only piece of jewelry he took to his grave was a ring given to him by the “Junction Boys”, the Texas A&M players whom he had mistreated, abused, and bullied into the team’s annihilation.

When the Thin Thirty team of Bradshaw reunited in Lexington, KY. Charlie Bradshaw was not invited to join them at the reunion according to my former roommate. Bradshaw was not introduced at the UK game half time along with the Thin Thirty team. Even though the players remained with him to the end, they did not think enough of him to invite them to their Reunion. That was a very dysfunctional family football unit. Obviously they were not reconciled. Some of the 30 said he had made them persons they did not want to be and they had difficulty after football adjusting to the real world.

When Bryant left Texas A&M for Alabama, he left the school in bad account. Under Bryant the Aggies were placed on probation and excluded from the Cotton Bowl. Bryant was watched very carefully in Texas. He had a bad reputation for his recruiting tactics. Bryant was described, like the Bradshaw, as evangelistic. Bryant ‘s penalties were disregarded because he had developed the reputation as an “innovator” in Texas football. Innovator meaning cheater and abuser. 3.

His sins were inconsequential, as usual, having to do with transportation costs illegally refunded and fishing trips with wealthy alumni. As athletic director Bryant also committed violations at Texas A&M. Bryant went after a new basketball coach in Ken Loeffler, who had coached at Yale, the St. Louis Hawks, and who had won a national championship at LaSalle College in Philadelphia. A&M was placed on probation, because of football violations. Loeffler felt that he had been put in a terrible situation at Texas A&M. from that time forward his relations with Bryant degenerated into a near Bryant-Rupp feud. Loeffler’s program was caught giving travel funds to a prospect from the East. The probation period was extended but lifted when Loeffler resigned. Loeffler took the wrap.

Loeffler professed his innocence and said he had many accounts of violations against Bryant. He threatened to turn Bryant in to the NCAA. But Loeffler felt he would injure his family and friends at Texas A&M. Bryant’s disregard for Loeffler and players was paramount at that time. Loeffler said that investigators should look under the football table for Texas A&M wrong doings. Bryant’s methods of win-at-all-costs, early in his career, after his later winning years of football at Alabama, were buried, as the wins out lasted his brutalities. But the stage was set for several of the mental illnesses of his disciples, who would later go on to coach at high schools and universities, after playing for Bryant.

Bear Bryant was a high school All-State football player in Arkansas. When he left for Alabama, where he would play college football, his mother tied his trunk with plowline to prevent him from losing his belongings. He did not have many clothes, but she new he wouldn’t lose what he had if the trunk was tied by plowline. After all, plowline was at the center of plowing. It was as tough and senseless as anything. Mules were subdued by the plowline.

Bear Bryant quit football at Alabama, but Coach Hank Crisp, assistant to Frank Thomas, brought him back to the team. Bryant had been talking about quitting Alabama and going to LSU. It started with Bryant’s sulking around. “Crisp called me down to his room. He had the plowline out” and said, “I hear you want to leave. Well, dammit, I want you to leave, and I’m here to help you and see that you do. Come on, let’s get that plowline out and tie this trunk up and get your tail out of here.” Maybe he called him a “shave tail”.

“Well, you never heard such crying and begging and carrying on. I finally talked him into letting me stay, Bryant said, and I never let out a peep about quitting again. Some of my boys I’ve pushed to that point, some of the real good ones.” Bryant was not made of what he expected his players to be made. His expectations of his athletes exceeded his own as a football player.

Motivation was self examined by Bryant. He wondered about the tactics he used to motivate his own players after becoming a football coach. And he wondered about what motivated himself. He believed he was motivated out of the fear of returning to the hard times he had growing up in Moro Bottom, and later in Fordyce, Arkansas. Bear Bryant played and coached out of fear, not the love of the game. How could one love a game they had no ability to play other than over cast others with his size. “One of the things that motivated me, that fear of going back to plowing and driving those mules and chopping cotton for 50 cents a day.” Bryant also traveled with his momma on a wagon peddling goods. His child hood was tough.

His older brothers were plow boys and hooked up the mules and used plowline to guide the mules when croppers, who got stuck up in the mud when it rained, needed help. Bryant hated it and hated every minute of that life. His parents were very religious and strict disciplinarians. They were fundamentalists. He got whipped a lot at home and in school as a youngster. Bryant was a prankster and a disciplinary problem. He said his parents never spared the rod. Was he severely abused as a child? Did he abuse and bully because of his abuse? That is the usual abusive scenario. The abused abuse.
Bryant wasn’t very good at basketball and knew very little about football. He was always the last one picked when the teams were being chosen. He was on the bottom of the playground hierarchy.

Bryant wasn’t a good student and was very lazy in school. He made up for it by getting into many fights. If you can’t beat them, hurt them. He was the last one anyone would think would go to college and get a degree. People who knew him didn’t think he would stick it out in college. He was motivated out of his own hard times and parental abuse with a lack of athletic ability and studious dedication . He became a bully boy abuser in his own right. He feared many circumstances. Bear didn’t block his fears, tackle his problems or keep his feet moving when the going got tough. He just became a bully.

Bryant thought about how much a man could influence another person. He relied on Coach Thomas and Coach Crisp in later years for advice. He believed you surround yourself with good people who can help you. Thomas and Crisp weren’t good at football technique, but knew what it took to win. They were motivators. Probably, win-at-all-cost motivators. Bryant described himself as a field coach and a “motivator” who did not know much about x’s and o’s on the chalk board. Bryant majored in physical education but “didn’t study anything”. He never had and never did. Coach Thomas’ favorite punishment was to have Bryant and his teammates run laps at 4:00 AM. He would make them run 100 laps or pack up and leave the team. Bradshaw adopted the same punishment at Kentucky. Bryant was proud of playing too soon after a fractured tibia in his leg. Playing hurt was his red badge of courage. Bryant was cut out of the same cloth as Bull Sullivan, Coach Thomas and Coach Crisp.

Bryant learned form coach Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech. “I believe that football can teach you to sacrifice, to discipline yourself. Bobby Dodd had been quoted as saying some super-tough coaches have found they can take a group of “lesser boys”, an inferior team, and beat a superior team by super-tough conditioning (and fear).
Bryant said Dodd was right about that and Bryant was flattered
“if I fall in that category”. Some teams like Georgia Tech get all those big, fine, wonderful student athletes, and the boys play about 75%. Teams that live tough and play tough and are dedicated beat their fannies seven out of nine times, which our boys have done to Georgia Tech. On examination, Bryant appeared envious of the student athlete he had never become. Regarding the fear and abuse, “Has anybody thought to ask the boys if it was worth it?
We asked our 1962 UK football teammates who were subjected to the maltreatments of the Charlie Bradshaw regime if it was worth it and they vehemently said. “no”.

Bryant said, “I’ve tried to teach sacrifice and discipline to my coaches and my boys, and there were times I went too far and asked too much and took our my mistakes on them. I’ve made mistakes, a lot of stupid mistakes. I know that I lost games by overworking my teams, and I lost some good boys by pushing them too far, or being pigheaded.”

“I’m older now, and not as dumb, I hope, and some things I would do differently because I know better, but that doesn’t change my mind about the value of hard work.”

“David Bedwell recalls time under Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant” was published in the Post, January 21, 2008 online. He described how Bear’s team played with injuries. Nowadays coaches, who know better, would not batter their athletes and play them wiht injuries, because they understand the life-long affects of injuries and resulting disabilities.

After spending the 1964 season on the freshman team, playing in the defensive secondary and taking snaps behind the Snake, Bedwell spent his varsity career as roving linebacker and backup defensive back to Bobby Johns. Bedwell also spent a significant part of his playing days dealing with various injuries, and credits his position coach, Mal Moore, with helping keep him on the team.

“I had so many injuries that I’m not sure Coach Bryant would have put up with me if Mal hadn’t gone to bat for me a few times,” he said.

Bedwell wasn’t the only player who fought through injuries to play football for Bryant. During his junior year in 1966, amidst the escalation of the war in Vietnam, Bedwell said he and around 50 other players got their draft notices. Ordered to report to Montgomery for physicals, Bedwell and his teammates loaded a bus and prepared for the possibility of being shipped off to fight in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

“I think only about four of five players out of the entire group even passed the physical, and I had to stay an extra night because I had broken vertebrae in my neck,” Bedwell said. “The doctor told me, ‘I don’t know how in the world you boys are playing football, you’re the most

Bear Bryant described himself as insecure having an inferiority complex. He said he cried often. Bryant said at Kentucky he would get so keyed up that he would stop and vomit on the ways to football. “I’ve had some terrible gut checks, too, I’ll tell you, and I’ve cried, literally cried like a baby, over some things.” Bryant was known for going to his office very early in the morning. He was a chain smoker and once checked himself in to a hospital to dry out from alcohol abuse.

Bryant preached hard work but wasn’t a model of hard work himself. Bryant was a textbook of depression. As a teenager he made poor grades and had poor school attendance. He got into trouble often and manifest reckless behavior. He felt hopelessness and insecurity because of his socio-cultural situation in life. He apparently was abused physically by his parents with frequent beatings and whippings. As an adult Bryant manifest the depressive symptoms of inappropriate crying, empty feelings, loss of confidence, loss of temper often. He was irritable, felt miserable, had difficulty sleeping, awakened too early, had relationship difficulty, and alcohol and cigarette abuse. Both Bryant and Bradshaw represented cheating, abusive and unethical coaching conduct in their early years of coaching. Bradshaw exhibited many of Bryant’s personality and coaching traits.


The elite athlete appears to be more sensitive to respiratory infections gastroenteritis, leptospirosis, herpes simplex and viral hepatitis. Over exercise contributes to the severity and complications of the elite athletes’ ilnesses. If myocarditis is suspected athletes should not have strenous exercise. Guidelines are suggested for the management of athletes suffering from infections, including recommendations on when to resume training. Illnesses with fever cause muscle wasting, circulatory problems and decreased motor coordination. 121.

Charlie Pell, a Bear Bryant disciple, and assistant to Bradshaw at UK from 1965-1969 suffered with severe depression. Pell made a public service documentary about his depression for the state of Alabama. His documentary was a very noble achievement and a source of public information.

Football players and coaches, who usually played football, often suffer with mental and physical illness. Some times the mental and physical illness is the result of physical and psychological abuse by coaches. Multiple head injuries have been shown to result in severe mental illness to players later in their lifetime. A traumatic brain injury is characterized by loss of consciousness, confusion, amnesia for the events, and other neurological signs. Concussion often results later with loss of mental functioning and memory, migraine, seizures, dizziness, and depression.

These illnesses range from simple injury to catastrophic injury, to death, to post traumatic stress disorder, to other neuroses and psychoses.Over training and injury can lower the player’s immune system and make the athlete more susceptible to other diseases, too i.e. heart disease.

Similarly, post traumatic stress disorder among the Vietnam Veterans results in a greater prevalence of early death and disease. 20% of the UK Freshmen who continued with Bradshaw are currently deceased. 10% of the UK 1961 Freshmen who pulled out from Bradshaw are deceased. Like post traumatic stress reaction of the Veterans. many of our freshmen have premature diseases from stress reactions and injury. Even though I became a
successful physician, I still suffer from Bradshaw. An investigation of the association between prior head injury and the likelihood of being diagnosed with clinical depression among retired professional football players with prior head injury exposure. Depression is the most cited psychological disturbance after traumatic brain injury, with prevalence rates from 6% in cases of mild traumatic brain injuryto 77% in more severe TBI] within the first year after injury. Retired players reporting three or more previous concussions (24.4%) were three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression; those with a history of one or two previous concussions (36.3%) were 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression. 4.

Concussions can trigger a chemical chain reaction in brain neurons that leaves an athlete disoriented, unconscious, or dead. They can also impair learning over a period of years.Barret Robbins, Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl center, suffered from severe depression, a mental illness. “The demons running loose inside Barret Robbins’ head put theplayer in a San Diego hospital on Super Bowl Sunday”. The physical power of his 6-foot-3, 320-pound body was no match for the illness. Like anyone else, athletes can be ravaged by the emotional and physical toll that comes with depression. Worse, athletes’ reluctance to deal with their condition, the jock environment that makes them ashamed of their perceived “weakness,” and physical side effects brought on by medication add up to the most troublesome foe they will ever face.”As athletes, we are taught to be tough,” said former NHL all-star Pat LaFontaine, who has battled depression. “You get up and shake it off. But you can’t do that with depression. For me, the harder I tried, the worse it got.” Spiraling into shadows so dark she thought she’d never get out, former U.S. Olympic diver Wendy Williams once collapsed in front of her refrigerator, overwhelmed by something as simple as deciding what to eat. She quit getting into her car for fear she would drive off a cliff to escape her misery. 78.

Harry Carson, middle linebacker with the New York Giants was a celebrated defensive football player, smart and agile, selected for the Pro Bowl even during years his team couldn’t eke out a winning season. Above all, he was known for aggression. After a collision a dazed, Carson dusted himself off and walked back into the Giants’ huddle—and as he stood holding his teammates’ hands, everything went black. He didn’t faint. He didn’t stop playing. For a few minutes, though, he found himself unable to interpret his coach’s signals from the sidelines. He couldn’t call the next play, as the middle linebacker is expected. Blackouts like these were becoming familiar sensations for Carson. Over 13 seasons, he estimates he received between 15 and 18 concussions. It was only toward the end of his career that he began to exhibit the cumulative effects of all these hits, signaling what his doctors would later call postconcussion syndrome. Carson developed headaches and muscle twitches. He grew sensitive to bright lights and loud noises, making it difficult for him to sit in a busy restaurant or do a television interview. He’d lose track of time: Until recently, athletes like Carson were of little interest to scientists. With dozens of football fatalities each year in the 1960s, particularly at the high school level, researchers were much more concerned with on-field catastrophes. “When someone dies, that catches everyone’s attention,” says neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. “It’s not surprising that fatalities in football have been tracked since 1931.” Thanks to better protective equipment and safer coaching techniques, football deaths have now dropped to single digits each year. The decline has allowed scientists to focus on more subtle traumas, and concussions are chief among them. Neurosurgeons have shown that even a minor ding can trigger a neurological cascade that can eventually cause cognitive dysfunction and mental illness. Among retired football players who have sustained three or more concussions, 20 percent have been diagnosed with clinical depression—more than three times the rate of players who never got a concussion.

Almost half of those are taking antidepressant medications, and most report that the condition impedes their normal daily activities, such as shopping for groceries and going to work.At the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, neuropsychologist David Hovda has studied the cascade of these injuries. An injured athlete may be oblivious to the neurochemical cascade inside his brain. “You can see a broken arm,” says Carson. “You can see a torn ligament in the knee. But with a concussion, you don’t see it.” The effects show up in statistical research.

In 2001 Kevin Guskiewicz, research director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was surprised by the depression statistics. Athletes with no concussions had a lifetime diagnosis rate of 6.6 percent. That is about the same as the general male population. Once they suffered three or more traumas, however, the rate skyrocketed to 20.2 percent. The depressions, can interact with other health problems to destroy the former athletes’ lives. The depressions have a snowball effect. The football player is retired from football, overweight, has musculoskeletal problems like sore knees, ankles, hips, not exercising. and life begins to go downhill.” 79.

Many other sports other than American football are plagued by concussions. Soccer, hockey and baseball are examples. Matser and Lezak compared the results of swimmers and runners and found the soccer players were three to four times more likely to show deficits in memory and planning skills. The more concussions players suffered, the lower their scores on three of the 16 tests. Lezak is unsurprised. “I know what happens when you bat on the brain,” she says. “Given what we know about boxing, it would have been surprising if we hadn’t found anything. In soccer, people are punishing themselves in much the same way boxers do.”


There is a difference between the great mentor, credible coach and the abusive coercive, dementor coach. Pat Summitt, the University of Tennessee head women’s basketball coach said, “”My ideas about how to command respect have changed. I’ve learned that you can’t demand it, or whack it out of people with a two-by-four. You have to cultivate it, in yourself and those around you.” 45.

The success of a coach is not only measured in how many games he or she wins, but how much respect a coach wins from their athletes. The respect earned from the players and athletes he or she coaches is tantamount to success. Players who respect their coach can rise to their full potential.

Coercive coaches try to force respect from their players. Command and control style coaching is coercive coaching. The Coach acts like a drill sergeant and demands respect. Players follow the commands and controls so that they won’t be physically and psychologically punished and abused. Coercive, commando style, coaches force people to follow them out of fear. They make athletes fear them by physically abusing the athletes. They punch, shove, kick and shake players. They punish, embarrass, belittle and yell at athletes when they make mistakes or break rules. These types coaches are not true leaders. They are dictators, intimidators, controllers and manipulators. They use negative coaching techniques.

John Wooden, former UCLA men’s basketball head coach said, “I didn’t want to be a dictator to my players or assistant coaches or managers. For me, concern, compassion, and consideration were always priorities of the highest order. “Pat Summitt, also said, “Appreciate the fact that you cannot lead without eager followers.” John Wooden said, “The most essential thing for a leader to have is the respect of those under his or her supervision. It starts with giving them respect.”

The opposite of the coercive coach is the credible coach. A credible coach earns their player’ respect. They treat their athletes with dignity and respect and basically abide by the Golden Rule. They do unto their players as they would want players to do unto them. They show their players how much they care for them and develop a relationship with the players. They inspire their athletes to greatness. Credible coaches carefully teach their athletes the proper techniques of playing their sport and are equipped with x’s and o’s intelligence. Athletes give their total best when they respect the coach. Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach said, I think it is extremely important to have the respect of the players.” 45.

The core of coaching is trust. There are 3 elements of trust. They are: reliability, sincerity and competence. Trustworthiness is lost when you act without these 3 elements. 47. Bradshaw exhibited none of these 3 elements. Coaches must trust themselves first. Then the coach will be able to recognize the trust of the players after the coach’s respect has been earned. The coach will know, who the coach can count on, or trust, during the game. A team is similar to a religious congregation. The team must have a supportive environment built on the rocks of mutual respect and trust. The best interest of the member of the team or the congregation must be at the heart of both units. An ethical code of conduct is extremely important for the success of a team or congregation. 48.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head basketball coach of Duke University, defined passion as an extreme emotion characterized by being able to have your destination in sight and not letting any obstacle distract your mission for success. The emotion stems from the players love of the game. Nothing will stop that athlete. Coach K said, “It’s all about the journey. You should live the journey. You should live it right. You should live it together. You should live it shared. Coach K’s program is based on truth in the relationship with athletes. Trust must be established and earned over time. “People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves”, he says. The players “want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good”. “I believe God gave us crises for some reason—and it certainly wasn’t for us to say that everything about them is bad. A crisis can be a momentous time for a team to grow—if a leader (coach) handles it \properly.” 49. Suffering and prayer after crisis are key.

Coaches have a difficult, time consuming, important job, that carries with the profession, a tremendous responsibility to the many involved. A great coach must be a mentor. He or she must possess a superior knowledge of the sport they are coaching. Getting players to play for a coach involves a relationship built on trust. Players rely on coaches to frame their play, so that the athlete will not suffer undue injury and harm. During practice they count on their coach to teach them the correct way to perform and the correct techniques of the sport. Players also count on their coach to instruct them on correct ways to manage the ethical issues and pressures from inside and outside the program. Coaches are in a select professional category. The are in positions of power and omnipotence over young vulnerable players. They govern players on the field, in the locker room and sometimes off the field and out of the locker room to varying degrees.

The purpose of sports, in general, should be to help young athletes grow, expand their horizons and realize their own potential. The point is that it is not just producing athletes, but building young men and women to send out into our communities

Sport builds good character………but only when good characters are coaching the sport. Coaches can be life changers. The coach must be a leader and role model. Great coaches teach their players the values of life and how to be leaders in life. A great coach can mentor a player into a star, a role model and folk hero for subsequent generations.

A mentor, credible coach is a more experienced person who knows his sport. He is a trusted friend, counselor, and teacher of the less experienced athletes. Coaches advance a players career, his academics and his education and his employment opportunity. The coach is a senior who is wise, influential, trusted and the players supporter. The great coach develops a lasting open relationship with the player by listening to and being attentive to the players. As a motivator the coach compels the player to succeed by offering encouragement and support. Frequent positive feedback during practice and games builds the player’s self-esteem and boosts his or her morale. The player develops a sense of accomplishment. A player who is always in the dog house with the coach will not be successful. Positive, constructive feedback will reinforce behavior and result in the growth of the player and the team.

All athletes in a sport are not the same. Only a few will become professional. Others will earn their livings by other means. identifying those differences in athletes is another quality of a great coach. The coach “coaches-up” the two differently.

If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Players goals should be results oriented and attainable. The coach mentor will show the player where he is going. A coach mentor is genuinely interested in the players. He or she has the best interest of the player at heart. They have good people skills with players, colleagues and even the media. Football players will run through a brick wall when they trust their great coach mentor.

The games of football, basketball and baseball, for some athletes, have become a business, instead of a game. Football, “a once noble sport, based on hard work, individual and team achievements and sportsmanship have been degraded into a sport of greed and
winning-at-all-costs, due to cheaters and abusers in some instances. Some of our contemporary heroes are not setting a good example for future generations” in light of their cheating and win-at-all-cost mentality, in some situations. 7. However, all programs and athletes cannot be cast into that mode. Each program should be evaluated on its own merits.

THE GOOD COACH from Dr. Alan Goldberg: 50.

Coach NEVER uses humiliation or embarrassment as a coaching tool
Genuinely cares about the welfare and well being of each athlete
Is a pro at catching athletes doing things right
Rarely raises his/her voice
Is supportive and encouraging
Builds healthy relationships with his/her athletes
Is honest and trustworthy
Creates a feeling of personal safety on the team
Is able to celebrate his/her athletes’ successes/accomplishments
Is a positive person
Understands that coaching is about doing what’s best for the kids
Has winning in perspective and defines success in appropriate ways
Tends to be flexible, yet still able to set good limits
Is friendly, non-defensive and approachable
Uses hard physical conditioning appropriately
Is NEVER physically abusive!
Communicates displeasure directly and appropriately to
Coaches by generating mutual respect
Maintains an open mind
Is a good communicator
Leaves his/her athletes feeling good about themselves
Fuels the athlete’s enjoyment and enthusiasm for the sport
Is a wonderful role model
Earns respect from players and parents
Does NOT act out his/her feelings/insecurities on his/her athletes

There are many personal relationships (e.g. coach–parent, athlete–athlete, athlete–partner) that can impact an athlete’s performance But the coach–athlete relationship is considered to be particularly crucial. Their relationship is a growing appreciation and respect for each other. Historically, coaching has concentrated mainly on improving the athletes’ performance. Now the strength of the coach–athlete relationship is recognized. The strength of that relationship is the foundation of coaching and a major force in promoting the development of athletes’ physical and psychosocial skills. Now more astute coaches are concentrating on the question: “What makes the ideal coach–athlete relationship?’
Effective coach–athlete relationships are holistic. The sports system has many interactive parts. The sports system as a whole determines how the parts behave. The entire system must be evaluated, not just one or two parts. Emphasis must be placed on positive growth and development of the coach–athlete relationship. Relationships must be successful to become affective. These relationships must be genuinely centered on the helping of the coach or the player. Studies have shown that the closer the coach and athlete are, the better the athlete understands the coach. The coaches that create opportunities for communication and disclosures related to the athletes’ daily activities are more likely to develop trustworthy coach–athlete relationships. New investigations hope to develop an evidence-based approach to the practice of sports coaching and coaching education. The development of a science of relationships in sport settings might soon be forth coming. 51.

The problem of winning-at-all-costs and the problems that result from the coaching abuse to win-at-all-costs are many. The old philosophy of “no pain or no gain” has now been determined by research physicians to be a false doctrine. Many coaches believed and still believe that athletes need less not more water to drink during practice and games. Some misinformed abusive coaches still withhold water and athletes’ performances are, as a result, worsened. The well conditioned athlete stores and burns more energy in a shorter time. It then releases more heat, requires more cooling, loses more water, and needs more water to replenish its stores. The increased sweating response, causes more water loss. An in-shape athlete needs more water than other people.

Drinking moderate amounts at frequent intervals is the best strategy during competition or practice. About one cup (six to eight ounces) of cool water every 15 to 20 minutes during an activity is about right for most athletes. Cool water (40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) is best.

“What is wrong with a society that places so much importance on winning in sports, that it blatantly neglects the needs and well being of the child-athletes, that it’s charged with educating and protecting? Are we that out of touch that we’ve lost our perspective on what really matters in life?

Are too many parents making a “deal with the devil” and turning their kids over to coaches with questionable methods just because these coaches supposedly produce “champions?” Is winning more important than the safety and mental health of the athletes? 50. Are doctors and trainers making a “deal with the devil” by clearing their patients to participate in sports activities supervised by abusive coaches for the sake of winning while neglecting the safety and mental health of their patients?

Some coaches place winning, as the only measure of their success, before the needs of the athletes. For them its about the coach and not the athlete. The sport is supposed to be all about the kids. After all it is only a game. But some coaches place their own needs ahead of the needs of the kids that play the games. These are the kids they have supervisory responsibility to protect and guide. The win or loss outcomes are more important to them than the process of participation, character development, and safety. Lombardi used to say: Winning isn’t the most important thing. It’s the only thing? But all is not lost when the team and coach lose a game. Lombardi was wrong.

“When winning is more important to the coach than the experience of his/her athletes’ participation, then EMOTIONAL and sometimes PHYSICAL ABUSE are the end result.” The end doesn’t justify the means because young athletes suffer long term physical and psychological and emotional damage. Coaches argue that their abusive ways makes them mentally tougher and physically stronger. Nothing is further from the truth as studies have shown. In fact, abusive coaching makes them mentally weaker and physically disabled in many cases. Abuse is poor coaching no matter what the win and loss record is at the end of the season.

The damage that abusive coaches can do to preadolescent and adolescent athletes oftentimes haunts the athlete well into adulthood, negatively shaping their future performance experiences and relationships both in and out of competitive sports. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, identity issues and recurring performance problems are often the result of this kind of negative coaching. Abusive coaching is a serious epidemic in our society and it’s time that responsible adults, i.e. doctors, health care personnel, other coaches, level-headed parents and competent professionals step up to the plate and drive this garbage out of the ballpark once and for all.

Fortunately, there are many excellent role model coaches in the United States, but abusive coaches taint the profession. If you throw one skunk into the jury box the entire box smells.


Regularly uses public embarrassment and humiliation on his/her athletes
Is disinterested in the feelings and sensitivities of his/her players
Rarely uses praise or positive feedback
Is a yeller
Demeans his/her players
Plays “head games” with his/her athletes
Is personally dishonest and untrustworthy
Creates a team environment based on fear and devoid of safety
Is never satisfied with what his/her athletes do.
Is overly negative and a pro at catching athletes doing things wrong
Is more interested in his/her needs then those of his/her players
Over-emphasizes the importance of winning
Tends to be rigid and over-controlling, defensive and angry
Is not open to constructive feedback from players or other parents
Uses excessive conditioning as punishment
Can be physically abusive
Ignores his/her athletes when angry or displeased
Is a bully (and therefore a real coward)
Coaches through fear and intimidation
Is a “know-it-all”
Is a poor communicator
Only cares about his/her athletes as performers, not as individuals
Consistently leaves his/her athletes feeling badly about themselves
Kills his/her athletes’ joy and enthusiasm for the sport
Is a bad role model
Is emotionally unstable and insecure
Earns contempt from players and parents
Coaches through guilt
Is a master of DENIAL!!!!!

A coach doesn’t have to be guilty of all of these behaviors to be an abusive coach. In fact, regularly engaging in a select two or three of these is enough to qualify a coach for abuser status. The characteristics of an abusive coach are that he or she does not care abut the athletes. They only care about the players’ abilities and how the athlete wins for the coach. The abusive coach will turn on the kid who though talented fails to produce. Some abusive coaches are mentally ill. Mental illness among powerful people is about the same percentage as the population in general. The abusive coach plays the explain, complain and blame game. They never take responsibility for their emotional incapacitated self. Their own development was arrested during similar abusive situations. The abusive coach is in denial. Brainwashing brutality works for the abusive coach because the players manifest a reluctance to tell anyone about the abuses. Athletes suffer from the Power Gap.

“What plays with the team stays with the team.” Differences will be handled within the “family”. The abusive coach manipulates the athletes and the victim athlete feels responsible for the abuse. ” This guilt-fueled delusion is encouraged by the coach abuser who continuously feeds this abusive distortion to the victim”. Athletes develop many negative emotions from an abusive coach. Lack of playing time, by itself, is not an abuse. Playing time is not part of this topic and research.

Sadly, a player who sits the bench, is less likely to become an abused victim. Pulling out of a corrupt sports program and sitting the bench are the safest alternatives to playing for an abusive coach.

Feeling scared of the coach and the situation are early warning signs of an abusive coach. Threatening mental and verbal messages from the coach instills a fear for the athlete talking about the abusive situation. Other signs of coaching abuse are embarrassment, humiliation, worry, and feeling shame and guilt about themselves. They become insecure from the abuse.

Remaining with abusive coach will hurt the athletes’ self-image, lower their self-esteem and result in depression and feelings of worthless; not to mention the risk of physical injury and in a few instances, death. Athletes are treated the way they let coaches treat them. My teammate at Kentucky, Dale Lindsey, who transferred to Western Kentucky, made All-American and played 9 years at linebacker for Cleveland Browns, said, “you will treat me the way I let you treat me”, when describing the Charlie Bradshaw era.
Players should immediately discuss with the next of kin, the abusive situation and pull out of that abusive situation and head in a different positive direction. Athletes should never keep coaching abuse a secret and allow abusive coaches to get away with their bad behaviors. 50.

Unintentional injuries to athletes are accidental and occur when playing by the rules of the game in a safe sports environment. Non-accidental, preventable injuries are self-inflicted directly or indirectly by the coach and result from abusive coaching behavior. Coaches act as care taking, supervisors. They actually see and oversee and are trained to know how athletes behave in a given athletic situation. Coaches direct and manage the athlete or supervisee. Inadequate supervision is associated with an increased risk of injury. Increased supervision is associated with the prevention of athletes’ injuries. It is a simple equation. The interactions of the athlete, the care taking, supervisor coach and sports environment are the important pieces of the equation. The athletes’ behavior, coaches’ behavior and environmental conditions are in dynamic relationships and affect each of the other 2 in their interaction.

They are dependent on one another in the prevention of sports’ injury as a result of their behaviors and conditions. This is the comprehensive approach to adequate supervision and prevention of injury to the supervised athlete. 52. There is a correlation between visual and auditory supervision of the athlete and physical proximity of the care taking supervisor coach to the athlete and injury to the athlete. Continuous seeing and hearing of the athlete and being close to the athlete during practice aids in injury prevention.

“Every textbook dealing with athletic safety issues defines and addresses the need to supervise. The duty to supervise, watch and help lowers the chance of players being injured and is fundamental. So why do 90% of the lawsuits in the past 35 years, claim that the coach, the team board, the union and everyone else with 100 yards of an incident were negligent because of a “failure to properly supervise?” The coach supervisor is in charge and is supposed to know all the guidelines and how they should be implemented.

The Principles of Sport Supervision are:
1. Be there.
2. Know the activity you are supervising. A skilled wrestling coach graciously covered a colleague’s rugby practice. It was the first time he ever saw the game. Luckily, no one was injured – seriously.
3. Foreseeability – Understand the potential risks of the
activity and meet your obligation to those risks. It is foreseeable someone without instruction and practice could be seriously injured if you throw him into a game.
4. Understand the numbers – There is no known coach to player ratio because of multiple factors such as age, activity, experience and level of risk. Foreseeability, training and common sense determine the appropriate number. One swimmer supervised by an untrained lifeguard is wrong. Thirty ruggers supervised by a trained coach is appropriate. Two players taught how to tackle by someone without the knowledge is a poor ratio. It is also wrong.
5. Inspect the field and any equipment before you use it. Do it every time.
6. Review the procedures before the activity. Warn the players about what can happen if they do not follow these procedures.
7. Know your players. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t place a player in a position that increases his/her potential for injury.
8. Make sure that everyone knows you are present, in control and available – and that you care about them. What does caring have to do with the topic of supervision? Everything! If you care about people, you will care about supervision and that increases safety.
9. Is this the right site for the activity? A dedicated mid western coach wanted to continue practice after being chased off his field by the park maintenance people. He moved the team to the parking lot. When a player fell twenty-five feet over an embankment onto a cement walkway while trying to catch a kick, the jury did not forgive the coach because of his dedication.
11. Signs help. Use warning and information signs in the clubhouse on in your manual, but please do not rely only on them to prevent accidents.
12. Understand the different faces of supervision. a. General – This is normally an observational duty as opposed to a teaching hands-on situation. It is watching people participating in activities they know. An example might be a tennis coach watching her team practicing on eight courts. You should be accessible. You should be visible to the players. You should continually scan the area.b. Specific – This is direct, and usually one on one instructional supervision. An example might be a gymnastic coach working on a new skill with one player. The higher the risk of injury, the more specific the supervision.c. Real Athletic Supervision – This is supervision. Some call it rotational, alternating or “general-to-specific-and-back-again.” It is when you are overseeing the team, then help one player, while you continue to scan the entire area. This is the type of supervision coaches need to know and need to practice.d. Absentee Landlord – This means no supervision. This leads to injuries and law suits. This is wrong.e. “Rotten” Supervision – Your body is present – your mind is somewhere else. A dedicated coach was working on the travel itinerary for a holiday tournament during drills run by high school players. A boy broke his leg. The coach was sued for a lack of supervision several months later.
13. Supervision is not watching every player, every moment in every possible situation! That is impossibility. In general, the courts have said you must provide adequate supervision. Adequate supervision is that which prevents an unreasonable risk of harm to the participant.
Supervision, 101 – Or, The Techniques of Supervision We Seldom Talk About:
a. Place yourself in a position where you can observe all the players. A hard working coach placed himself in the middle of the pitch. He observed players at both sides of the field. When he was observing one group, he was not observing the other group. If he moved to the sideline or rotated outside the activity, he would have been able to see more, more often.
b. Think before you establish you coaching position. A coach placed himself in the center of two lines of players working on tackling. The better site would be at the end of the line. He could then see all the players without having to turn his head.
c. Rotating or moving about the team is appropriate. By rotating around the outside of the practice area, the coach can see more of the practice. Vary your movement patterns.
d. When you offer specific supervision to one player, you do not abrogate your general supervisory duties. The biggest mistake I see is when a coach positions him/herself in such a way, that when helping a single athlete, their back is to the other players. The coach needs to place him/herself in such a way as to help one individual while being able to easily observe the other players. Remember you are supervising all the players. Avoid spending too much time with one or two individuals.
e. Scan the entire area continually – This is the habit of constantly observing the area in a systematic manner, even when you are providing comments to an individual. You scan the area from right to left, left to right, up and down, and continually. In the beginning, it is a good idea for teachers to consciously scan a class. Practice will make this automatic. The key is to be constantly vigilant. More on the technique of “Scanning” next month.
f. Does your style of supervision include what to do when or if there is an injury? You must have a plan. Stop the activity. Send for additional help. Do you have the emergency number next to the nearest phone? How are your first aid skills?
g. Yes, there are times when a person should not supervise.
1. When you don’t know the activity.
2. When the site in unsafe.
3. When you have too many people to watch.
4. When you see lightning.
k. Wear a whistle and use it. It’s a great control device.
l. Teach your assistants how to supervise. Good supervision isn’t “brain surgery,” but it does require more instruction than “just be there.” Appreciating and practicing the techniques of supervision will lower the rate of injuries – and law suits. That’s good.” 53.


The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines abuse as a recent act or failure to act that results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or imminent risk of serious harm; involves a child; and is carried out by a parent or caregiver or supervisor, who is responsible for the child’s welfare…… 56.

Child maltreatment is a major public” health problem. Even children athletes who experience abuse are at risk for behavioral, learning, physical, and mental health problems. The morbidity and mortality for patients with abusive head trauma is especially high. Now, there is established a clear connection between child maltreatment and many of today’s most important societal and public health problems, including alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide attempts’, smoking, severe obesity, ischemic heart disease, and cancer.

All 50 states have a statute providing state child protective service (CPS) agencies. They have the authority and are mandated to accept and investigate reports of suspected child abuse.

The primary responsibility of the physician is first recognition of the signs of child abuse, then reporting the suspicion to the appropriate authorities. Physician child abuse recognition education is the key. A report of suspected child maltreatment is not a diagnosis or accusation. It is a call for additional investigation to help determine whether child abuse actually has occurred. Physicians never should underestimate their importance when acting as advocates for child athletes. The physician who is willing to act on behalf of a child athlete suspected of being abused is one of the most important advocates a child can have. 55.

Information on specific state laws are provided by the Children’s Bureau:

Clinicians in the 50 United States are mandated by law to report suspicion of child abuse. There are some differences concerning the mode of reporting (written, telephone, and online) among states. If a child has serious injury caused by suspected neglect or poor supervision, the clinician should report this to child protective services. Child abuse reporting is mandated in all 50 US states, and specific guidelines for each state are available to clinicians. Generally, clinicians should be able to recognize suspicious injuries, perform a comprehensive examination and auxiliary tests, detect injuries, report child abuse, and document injuries for legal use, among other evaluation and management strategies. 58. Youth athletes are included. Coaches are defined as potential perpetrators by the Surgeon General and Departments of Community Based Services.

Human rights of youth athletes are a world wide concern. “England footballers have urged young players suffering at the hands of bullies to take immediate action. The advice came during a joint initiative between the FA and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to stop abuse and bullying in the sport The FA hopes the new policy will help protect children from verbal, physical and sexual abuse as well as bullying. FA chairman Geoff Thompson said: “Through this initiative it is our stated aim to ensure that everybody is better prepared to play their part in the protection of children. “We are committed to developing a culture in which children can play football in a safe and enjoyable environment.” 54.

Child maltreatment is behavior toward a child that is outside the norms of conduct and entails substantial risk of causing physical or emotional harm and injury. Four types of maltreatment are generally recognized: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse (psychological abuse), and neglect. The causes of child maltreatment are varied and not well understood. Abuse and neglect are often associated with physical injuries, delayed growth and development, and mental problems. Diagnosis is based on history and physical examination. Management includes documentation and treatment of any injuries and urgent physical and mental conditions, mandatory reporting to appropriate state agencies, and sometimes hospitalization or other steps such as foster care to keep the child safe. 60.

The NSPCC was founded in 1884 as the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (London SPCC)[1] by Benjamin Waugh. After five years of campaigning by the London SPCC, Parliament passed the first ever UK law to protect children from abuse and neglect in 1889. The London SPCC was renamed the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1889[1], because by then it had branches across Great Britain and Ireland. The first child cruelty case in Britain was brought by the RSPCA; the court charge list described the affected child as “a small animal”, because at the time there were no laws in Britain to protect children from mistreatment. 22.

Every parent who has been on a playground, baseball diamond or youth-soccer field can tell about coaches who insult, harass, and belittle their young children. Behavior that no parent or administrator would tolerate in a classroom often seems acceptable on America’s playing fields, and rarely anyone protests. Many are saying they’ve had enough. They want to purge youth sports of the physical and emotional abuses that result from the emphasis on winning-at-all-costs and have long been called “part of the game.” Educators and children’s health advocates are seeking more supervision and training for the millions of coaches and volunteers nationwide who oversee the approximately 25 million boys and girls who participate in youth sports leagues each year. Additionally, coaches at public schools are often untrained.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education has published comprehensive standards for all levels of coaches. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, along with several other medical groups, has produced a program called “Play It Safe” that provides safety guidelines for youth sports. Train the volunteers who coach the children, and teach parents what to look for in a youth sports program. “I don’t think that parents and coaches mean to be mean,” said Beth Campbell, the National Youth Sports Coaches Association’s coach of the year. “They just don’t know any better.”

Experts believe that no more than 20 percent of youth-league coaches have received even minimal training in the technical aspects and safety features of the game or in child development. States do not require it, nor do the majority of youth sports leagues.
Some sports programs, such as Pop Warner Little Scholars, are trying to move in that direction. The national youth football league offers coaching clinics that cover the technical elements of the game, child psychology, sports medicine, and risk management.
For the most part, the millions of volunteers tend to coach the way they were coached themselves or to mimic professional or collegiate coaches. Abused players, who become coaches, are often abusive. The incompetence of far too many others can nullify the physical, emotional, and social benefits sports are supposed to instill.

“People who prey on children will find their way into places where they have access to them” said one of by colleagues who is an expert in child abuse. “Anybody who wants to coach–certainly at the recreational-league level–can coach,” said Harvey Dulberg, a sports psychologist in Brookline, Mass., and a board member of the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. “We have parents who don’t understand children in some cases,” he said. “We have parents who don’t know anything about first aid and stretching.”That ignorance can lead to mistreatment of children. Occasionally, the lack of oversight leads to physical abuse. Though such incidents make headlines, experts say that far more common are the unintentional physical, psychological, and emotional wrongs committed by misguided or untrained coaches.

Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 775,000 boys and girls ages 5 to 14 for sports injuries. Nearly two-thirds of those injuries happen in pickup games and other informal settings. But a third of them occur in organized activities. “If you teach kids good habits in organized sports, then even if they’re playing a sandlot game, they’re going to pick up a batting helmet,” said Dr. Letha Griffin, an orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, who helped produce the “Play It Safe” program. But the untrained coach may not know any better.

Unlike older athletes, young children are more susceptible to injury because their bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are still growing. Yet in soccer, for instance, coaches often call for repetitive header drills, which require the players to butt the balls with their heads. If done improperly, experts say, these drills can cause injury. CHT, closed head trauma, and TBI, traumatic Brain Injury, of young athletes is a monumental condition that precedes morbidity and illness of adults in later years.

Persuading coaches to learn and follow proper safety procedures is only half the battle, experts say. Equally daunting is the task of weaning coaches away from behavior that would seem shocking in other situations, but has come to be accepted on the field or in the gymnasium. The coach who inquires of a player, “Why can’t you run faster?”The coach who punishes players for being overweight, or for dropping the ball. The coach who plays only the best athletes while the rest sit on the bench, or who tells an injured player to “tough it out like a man.” Some municipalities and school districts have set rules that would deny leagues access to fields and other athletic facilities unless they train their coaches.

At the first-ever summit on child protection in youth sports, some participants urged that leagues require coaches to have training. Others worried that too much regulation would drive away volunteers who lack the time or the money for training. Although some, like Fred C. Engh, the president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports, advocate legislation that would require training of coaches, they realize there is little support for such an approach in the regulation-cutting atmosphere now prevalent in Congress and many statehouses. 61.

Parents, coaches, volunteers and teachers have a responsibility to make sure children are protected from abusive situations. Abuse is any action, physical or verbal, which exploits or potentially harms or damages a child’s physical, emotional or psychological health. When a child is abused, he or she often experiences abuse by people older than them, usually by people they know and trust. Physical – where a child is intentionally injured or made to do excessive exercises as punishment. Emotional – where a child is made fun of, criticized, discriminated against, or put under an unrealistic pressure to perform. 81.

Policy and Procedure manuals in all hospitals and clinics contain sections on reporting abuse. Every health care personal should recognize and report abusive behavior according to law. Since the first law was passed by Wyoming in 1963, all states have enacted some form of mandatory child- abuse reporting law. 65.
“Mandatory reporting and screening laws are proliferating, and emergency physicians must be aware of the laws or risk criminal charges and malpractice claims. Most laws specifically provide physician immunity with respect to breaches of confidentiality whenever reports are made in good faith. These laws reflect a societal need to identify and intervene on both the medical and legal aspects of certain problems such as infectious diseases, adverse drug reactions, child abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence. The coroner, the state departments of motor vehicles, departments of health and social services, law enforcement, the medical board, and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) are some of the authorities to which emergency physicians are required to report. Everyday emergency practice requires awareness and compliance with myriad reporting laws.” 64.

Seventeen-year-old Douglas Morales died on August 26, 2008, after sustaining a head injury during football practice four days earlier. Morales became the second youth in as many days to die in New Jersey from a football injury. Thirteen year old Sean Fisher collapsed during practice on August 25, 2008 and never regained consciousness. Sean Fisher collapsed while running drills with his recreational football league and could not be resuscitated. 66.

“The parents of a one time Lely High School football star who died after a practice at the University of Central Florida say they intend to file a wrongful death suit against the university. Ereck Plancher, a 19-year-old red shirt freshman, collapsed during an off season conditioning workout on March 18 in Orlando during UCF’s spring drills and later died. UCF head coach George O’Leary was among those present for the conditioning drills The attorney for the family, J.D. Dowell, gave formal notice of the lawsuit intention in a letter to the university and the University’s Board of Trustees. “While participating in those drills, Ereck Plancher was overexerted, collapsed and subsequently died. While participating in these drills, Ereck Plancher experienced exhaustion, dizziness, shortness of breath and other signs of extreme fatigue that were ignored by trainers and/or coaches of the University of Central Florida”…… “As a direct and proximate result of the University of Central Florida’s negligence, Ereck Plancher collapsed and died.”…… “Please be advised that Enock Plancher, as personal representative of the Estate of Ereck Plancher, intends to pursue all claims and damages entitled to the survivors and the Estate pursuant to the Florida Wrongful Death Act.” 68.

Ereck Plancher had Sickle Cell Trait. “Athletes who carry the sickle cell trait are not precluded from playing or practicing. However, in June 2007, NATA issued a consensus statement warning that athletes who possess the trait are at greater risk during extreme conditioning exercises. The statement said collapses often were associated with a series of sprints, such as “gassers,” and typically occurred during the initial workouts of a season or off season. For athletes with the trait, NATA recommended, among other things, paced progression in workouts and more time for rest and recovery. NATA cited nine deaths (this was prior to Plancher’s collapse) tied to sickle cell trait dating back to 2000. In its autopsy report, the medical examiner cited papers written by Dr. Randy Eichner, a co-chair of the NATA task force and the University of Oklahoma’s team physician. The autopsy report concluded that Plancher had been “predisposed to sickling of the red blood cells during periods of physical stress.” 69.

Former Central Florida running back James Jamison says during his interview on “Between the Lines” on ESPN that Ereck Plancher struggled at the workout and coaches have understated the difficulty of the drills when Plancher died. He said the coach was dogging him the entire drill. Jamison said that Plancher struggled the entire dirll and Jamiison believed that the coaches ran Ereck Plancher to death during the drills. 120.

So who should report physical or emotional / psychological child abuse in Kentucky? Any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused shall immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to a local law enforcement agency or the DCBS, the Department for Social Services, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, or the County Attorney. Unless requested by law enforcement, the Department for Social Services investigates only those cases of abuse or neglect alleged to have been committed by a parent, guardian, supervisor like a coach or other person in care, custody or control of the child.

The law requires physicians, interns, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons, social services workers and mental health professionals, among others, to report immediately all suspected cases of child abuse. 70.

The Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park football coach said before the 2008 fall season, “The thing I want people to know about PRP football is that we’ll be a hard-nosed, working-class football team,” he said. “We want to line up and hit you in the mouth every play. You may beat us, but we want you to leave the field knowing you played a tough football team.”

And then the week of their first game of the 2008 season……”A 15-year-old Pleasure Ridge Park High School football player died tonight, three days after collapsing following practice. Max Gilpin died about 10:30 p.m. at Kosair Children’s Hospital”, August, 2008. 6.

Some coaches enjoy being called super-tough. The so called super-tough coaches must be educated and regulated when necessary. They are not investigated and regulated satisfactorily. The morbidity and mortality of athletes continues in varying degrees from post traumatic shock disorder, emotional abuse, physical abuse with injuries and death and sexual abuse. 19.

Max Gilpin was the third high school football player to die this year (2008) in the United States of heat-related injuries, and the 33rd high school, college or professional player since 1995, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Frederick Mueller, the center’s director, said that all heat-related football deaths are preventable if proper precautions are taken, including providing players with plenty of water and rest. 20. The case against Coach Stinson is scheduled for August 2009. No one knows all the facts of this case.
Both Coach Stinson and the Gilpin family deserve their day in court.

“Kentucky rules for heat stroke don’t include some key recommendations of experts and athletic training organizations. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association rule book doesn’t require that schools provide shade for players, weigh them before and after practice, or have a small pool of ice water on hand for immersing players who may be suffering from heat stroke. Studies of hundreds of heat-stroke victims on athletic teams and in the military show that all survive if immediately immersed in cold water, said Dr. Doug Casa, director of athletic training education at the University of Connecticut.

“You always survive if you are cooled right away,” said Casa, who headed an 18-organization task force on heat illnesses in 2003 that included the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Athletic Trainers.

How hot is hot is a moving target because Predisposing Factors contribute to Death from heat illness and abnormal heat balance. There are reports of death from heat illness with temperatures in the 70″s. because of the following contributing factors: Sympathomimetics Drugs Amphetamines Epinephrine Ephedrine Cocaine Diuretics Caffeine Alcohol Lasix etc Other Predisposing conditions alter heat balance: Vigorous Exercise overexertion Increased Exogenous Heat load Sun Exposure Increased Heat Index Decreased Heat Dissipation etc Exogenous causes: Humidity excessive clothing etc Endogenous causes of Dehydration: Lack of acclimatization Healed burns etc Concurrent infection Upper Respiratory Infection Gastroenteritis Obesity. But there are many other factors. Temperature and other factors will only be ruled out at autopsy. Coaching error does not account for all predisposing factors for increased body heat /death from heat illness only accounts for some of them
William O. Roberts, MD, a sports medicine specialist with MinnHealth in White Bear Lake, Minn

When a coach inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the player physical injury by other than accidental means and creates or allows to be created a risk of physical injury to the player by other than accidental means is child athlete abuse.

The Center for Sports and the Law describes negligent supervision by a coach. The following are the 4 elements of coaching negligence:
1. a duty of care is owed; Duty not to expose players to unreasonable risk of injury.
2. the duty imposes a certain standard of care;
3. an injury or damage occurs;
4. and the damage or injury as a result of a breach in the standard of care. 21.
Doctors are performing sports participation physicals. Doctors are clearing athletes to participate in sports presently into both conditions of adequate supervision and inadequate supervision. That Must Cease. Every doctor in every state should add to their physical examinations over their signatures, cleared contingent on adequate coaching supervision. Suspected Athlete Abuse must be reported by physicians. Doctors should also be performing histories and physicals on athletes where there is suspected mistreatment of the athlete.

Examples: over exercise, lack of drinking water, playing in dangerous heat index, stress fractures from overuse, poor equipment, unsafe techniques, like spearing in football, playing while injured, death from heat stroke etc.

Doctors are required by law to report suspected child endangerment by the coach that results in serious sports related injury. After examination and treatment of a serious sports injury, the doctor suspects the athlete was mistreated, unprotected and/or improperly instructed and inadequately supervised, the doctor must report the injury to authorities.

If the doctor discovers assault, improper punishment, over conditioning, improper techniques, faulty equipment, heat illness due to lack of water, bullying and/or terrorizing by the coach that resulted in the serious sports related injury, the doctor must report the injury to authorities.

The recent death of Max Gilpin rings clear. Every doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic and facility in all states should be informed and reminded that they are required to report suspected child athlete or adult athlete’s Physical, Psychological (Emotional) and Sexual Abuse.

-pp. 73 to 82 are absent pending the Trial of Coach Stinson and the Max Gilpin Death Case, August, 2009.


Jim Bolus, teammate 1961-1962 UK freshman football team, wrote and article for the Louisville Courier-Journal Newspaper, in 1981. He said, “when UK football players became disenchanted with the tactics of the new coach (Bradshaw), they left in droves 20 years ago. They endured all the scorn ever heaped upon hapless “quitters”, but many forged from the trauma of that time the drive to pursue goals greater than gridiron glory.” And they did achieve lofty goals.

In that article was quoted Lindsay Able, another teammate, who commented, “I remember Bradshaw said, the guys that quit will be quitters their whole life. They’ll be eating hamburgers and you guys who stay around here will be eating steak”. We have news for Bradshaw. We, who “pulled out” from his program, are eating steak today. because we did not fall for his bologna in 1962.

Teammate Roscoe Perkins said, ” you can’t treat people like a bunch of animals and beat on them and do the things that they did”. The players who “pulled out” became: 4 doctors, 1 dentist, 1 veterinarian, 7 lawyers, private business owners, investment brokers, real estate brokers and agents, teachers, members of the military armed forces, 1 sports writer and coaches. 28 of 32 had college degrees and 7 masters degrees. Of 48 players in the initial 1961 UK Freshman Football Class, only 5 completed their eligibility at UK.

Leaving a corrupt football program is not quitting. It is called “pulling out” for a better direction and career tract. Remaining with a corrupt football program is not believing in the Coach and his system. Staying with a corrupt coach and program is often the only choice a player has. I signed to play my college football and study Pre-Medicine at the University of Kentucky beginning in the Fall of 1961. Head coach Blanton Collier promised me that I would have time and receive UK’s blessing and support to study Pre-medicine.
We players were shocked and dismayed when Coach Blanton Collier was fired at the University of Kentucky at the end of the 1961 Fall semester and replaced by Charlie Bradshaw……..”A grim commando mood has hit football. It is especially evident at Kentucky, where the coach is commanding total dedication to victory.”

Charlie Bradshaw, the so-called replacement for Coach Blanton Collier in 1962, said, “men you are in for a tremendous experience- you will be part of a winner…” “Bradshaw had adopted the Bear Bryant’s philosophy……the only thing that matters is victory, no matter what it costs;…….” Bradshaw’s record reveals he won 38.6% of his games during his tenure as head University of Kentucky football coach. What actually turned out was a horrific, tragic experience; not a tremendous experience and a losing Bradshaw.

What is a commando? A commando is a member of a military unit, commanded by a authoritative person, designed for quick hits. In other words they sneak up on another enemy unit and attack them while they are vulnerable. Charlie Bradshaw was a commando. He and his assistants punished the University of Kentucky football players by sneaking up on them from the side or behind when they weren’t looking and sucker-punched, forearmed, and kicked the players, blind siding us; cowardly assults. They attacked and beat players when they were down. 5.

“Bradshaw had adopted Bear Bryant’s philosophy. He wanted to get each player hitched to the plowline like a mule. His first intention was to break down and then brain wash each player. Bradshaw wanted to subvert the integrity, code of conduct, character and dignity of each player. Emotional and physical abuse and brutality were his methods.

A mule digger can physically beat down a plow mule with beatings and brutality. An abusive coach acts similarly. The abusive coach, like the mule digger abuses the mule, bullies the mule into submission with physical and verbal abuse. The plowline is the ultimate mule and player control line.

Bradshaw’s assistant Bob Ford in the 1962 Sports Illustrated article said, “Some players don’t realize that what we are doing is for their own good”. “I believe in coaching. We teach the word of Christ. …… “The poor boy we make rich, give him a chance to improve himself, to gain an education and become rich in useful experiences this is his salvation.” Bradshaw and Ford preferred the “lesser player”. None of our UK players were “poor boys”. To the man, we were at least rich in spirit and love of the game until the Bradshaw thugs arrived. We were far from poor whites and lesser players. Our team had many superior players.

The term “lesser player” was introduced by Bear Bryant himself to the media. Assistant Bob Ford described the poor boy, above. The Bradshaw regime will give the player a chance to better himself, become rich, get and education, and even learn about Christ because Football will become his salvation. In other words, the players who have no other opportunity to “pull out” and preserve their ethical code of conduct will tolerate abuse. Athlete Abuse is the only attention they get, even though it is abusive attention. They were hitched to the plowline.

Bryant, during an interview in 1966, appeared to describe a” lesser player” as a less heralded, known, ranked, skilled, talented recruit. And possibly a dumb recruit, who was a “lesser player”, that some used to call a peon. Dehuminization was a method of bully boy football coaches.

Bradshaw at UK said, ” take pride in yourselves, to be good Christian men. Your studies will come first. “But an assistant said to one of players” Get to bed. We’ll tell you when to study. Football comes first right now.” Another player said, “At first I was impressed with Coach’s tie-in of Christianity and football. But now I’m convinced it’s nothing but hypocrisy. Christ taught love. Charlie Bradshaw teaches us to punish, to destroy the other man.”

Both Bryant and Bradshaw and some of their assistants were bully boys. They intentionally caused harm to their players through verbal harassment, physical assault, and manipulation. The coach of an amateur athlete possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance over their players. Atheletes become their victims. The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional. A power gap is created between the Abusive Coach and the Athlete and a misuse of authority prevails.

Bradshaw’s assistant, Bob Ford, had two pictures on his bedroom wall, when at UK. One of Robert E. Lee and the other of Stonewall Jackson. Pointing to Lee, the intensely serious Ford said to a visitor,” You see this man here? He was a real Christian gentleman. He taught a Sunday School, But he went out and killed, didn’t he ? ”
“If it sounds a bit totalitarian, it is. It is total football……….” 3.

Bradshaw and Ford treated the UK players like mules hitched to a plowline. In the Red Badge of Courage, Henry’s battalion fought like a pack of mule drivers or mule diggers. Mule drivers or mule diggers implied a derogatory term of an uncouth, uneducated workers or white soldiers. The red badge represented a bandaged wound, his “red badge of courage”. Fighting and playing football like plow mules on a plowline and sacrificing their bodies gaining red badges of courage, are not enough to win against better prepared, skilled, talented, experienced, superior players with character, coached with the tenor of sportsmanship. Players treated like “lesser” creatures or chess pieces cannot succeed against superiorly coached teams with superior players. 18.

I prayed for Charlie Bradshaw’s soul and the Charlie Bradshaw family Saturday night, August 9, 2008. I was praying, also, for my forgiveness of Charlie Bradshaw. At my age of 65 years, what was the impetus for this action? Didn’t I have more pressing issues and people to pray about? After all, it had been 46 years since I played football at the University of Kentucky. The line between toughness and downright ignorant thuggery clouded Charlie Bradshaw’s football practice and play, to the point that the things coaches were doing, during practice in 1962 at the University of Kentucky, would have led them to criminal prosecution today, in 2008. Punishments were severe with extra practices at about 5:00 AM that were more than running laps. They repeated the “conditioning” workouts and included the last room of feature bouts, where we fought until we could not fight any more.

How do we get rid of the Bradshaw erosion of sportsmanship in football. Thuggery doesn’t belong in our once noble sport. Our vision is clear. We recognize and admire the toughness, but we must sort out and eliminate the thugs. It had been a year, August, 2007 since the book The Thin Thirty had been authored and published by Shannon Ragland. It revealed the untold story of Charlie Bradshaw’s first year, 1962, as the head football coach at the University of Kentucky.

It was a true story and the publication was a factual account of the coaching brutality and abuse. but even the Thin Thirty did not tell the entire abuse story because the athletes held back parts of their torture. This revelation was about the physical and psychological abuse by Bradshaw and his coaching staff. It told about the brutality, and the physical and psychological abuse delivered to the University of Kentucky football players. Ragland conducted interviews with every player involved, that would talk and that he could find.

In the 1962 Sports Illustrated article about the Kentucky football program, “By mid September before KY played its first game, 53 players had quit the squad. ” 58 of the 88 players of Kentucky’s football team quit during Bradshaw’s first year, 1962. Preseason conditioning was Brainwashing Brutality rather than the usual football conditioning. Brainwashing is also known as thought reform or as
re-education. It is a program aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person or an athlete. Brainwashing beliefs are often unwelcome attitudes and beliefs, and are in conflict with the athletes prior beliefs and knowledge. The brainwashing program contains tactics and content that are subversive to the athlete’s individual value systems and thought patterns and behaviors because they are based upon unethical codes of conduct. 22.

My story about my tragic football experience during the Bradshaw regime had been suppressed for many years. I was never able to tell my story until The Thin Thirty interviews. After reading the book and reuniting with members of our team, a crescendo of memories began surfacing. Never had I ex[eroemced dreams with coaches voices, before that Saturday night to Sunday morning. The Thin Thirty surfaced in my concious mind the horrific conditions we experienced.

Charlie Bradshaw buried my football career, my football dignity and respect in a mass grave with the careers of my teammates. The wounds from the losses and my grief for my losses were covered up in that grave. But The Thin Thirty uncovered the wounds and brought a light that shinned on my mental surface. Many of the suppressed memories of my football tragedy were uncovered once again.

During this past year my Bradshaw wounds have been slowly granulating-in, from inside to out. The healing process has been retarded because of the continuous recurrence of new stories from old players and teammates. The stories, as they were reported and discussed about and from my teammates, were like the layers of a onion. Each layer that was pealed brought a new sadness about our players and team.

Initially, I was reluctant to be interviewed by Ragland and had no idea what Ragland would write concerning my participation in the story. I did not know Shannon. What Ragland described about me was learned in my interview and his research in Paintsville. KY at the Paintsville Herald and interviews with Coach Walter Brugh, my high school football coach, and many others. I was amazed what he knew about my football career.

From the time I “pulled out” from the Bradshaw football program and moved on toward a different career direction, medicine, and up until the time that I read the The Thin Thirty, I had suppressed and buried any recollection and remembrance of what had transpired during my tragic University of Kentucky football experience. The tragic football story affected me subconsciously. Only now, do I realize the post traumatic stress reaction that I suffered these many years, after our football team’s mental health study and survey.

After many of my teammates and I read The Thin Thirty, we discussed it and forgiveness became and issue. About half of the players had forgiven Bradshaw for his physical and psychological abuses and mistreatments of them and about half did not, our survey revealed. I don’t believe any player reconciled with Bradshaw, because no 1961 UK Freshman player would have allowed their son to play for Bradshaw in his state of mind in 1962 according to the answers of our study and survey. We also determined that “pulling out” from a corrupt football program was not quitting, because we who “pulled out” moved on in a different career direction and became successful. We did not tuck our tails and run.

Bradshaw and his teams suffered. From the 1961 UK Freshman football team, 8 members, who pulled out from Bradshaw, received professional football opportunities after finishing their careers at other universities. None who remained with Bradshaw from our class advanced to the professional ranks. I hold those 8 who “pulled out” in my highest football regard for their accomplishments and good judgment. Likewise, I hold the remainder who “pulled out” in my highest professional regard for their accomplishments and good judgment, because they all became successful, contrary to what Bradshaw said they would never do. “You will never amount to anything if you leave my team”, he said.

Bradshaw, the self proclaimed, Christian evangelist, acted out a false Gospel. People’s behavior communicates their beliefs about God. To behave differently than God behaves, and not as children of God, or not as Brethren or Sisters in His Church, communicates something false about God’s Gospel. To forgive sin under all circumstances and unconditionally, communicates a false Gospel of God. It is not what God does. God’s forgiveness is conditional. The Lord’s forgiveness is not unconditional. It is contingent upon repentance of the trespasser or sinner. Christian’s forgiveness is contingent upon repentance of the trespasser or sinner, also.

Forgiveness is not a unilateral act. The trespasser must participate somewhere along the line and repent. He or she must change their ways. Christian forgiveness requires that the trespasser repent. If a trespasser is dead and did not repent and ask for forgiveness before you, then it is up to God to forgive him of his trespasses. God alone at that point knows his heart. Reconciliation is different from forgiveness. Reconciliation is a condition that puts two people back on friendly terms again, after a dispute or mistreatment. A friendly relationship results when 2 are reconciled. Therefore, even for the players who forgave Bradshaw, few would want to be on friendly terms with him or his assistants. They would not be the people that my teammates would have a beer with, today and watch a ballgame.

It was while I was in my bed, preparing to sleep, that I finally realized that Charlie Bradshaw in 1962 suffered from an apparent mental illness. Previously, I had not been a good enough Christian to forgive him prior to that Saturday night. I realized that Bradshaw could not help his mental illness and was not directly responsible for his illness and his behaviors and actions as a result of his illness. Unfortunately, our team and other teams, subsequently, were abused by Bradshaw, while his mental illness remained undetected and untreated. How many people in leadership positions actually are functioning with an active mental illness? How many coaches suffer daily from mental illness? Do the symptoms of their illness adversely affect the athletes whom they supervise?

Bradshaw never had a diagnosis or was offered treatment for his suffering, that we were aware. That was his main problem. He remained on his coaching job during his illness. In retrospect, it appeared that he manifested an emotional mental condition. He apeared he manifested a manic delusional identity. He appeared in retrospect to have delusions of grandeur and thought he was Coach Bear Bryant. He was a disciple of Bryant having both played for and assisted Coach Bryant, before Bradshaw became coach at UK. One of his assistant coaches said Bradshaw later in life became ill and died a lonely, unhappy, impoverished man. His family denies that description. I do not know for certain.

Bradshaw reportedly appologized to one football athlete. The athlete said Bradshaw had long hair in a pony tail and was wearing sandels and jeans. That would be extrodinay in that era and odd for a coach.

As a physician, I took the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by physicians concerning the ethical practice of medicine. Historically, the oath was written by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, in the 4th century BC. In 1964 Dr. Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, revised the Oath and it is used in medical schools today.

The Hippocratic Oath begins with “I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:” There are many covenants within the Oath. The following covenants are pertinent to my relationship with Charlie Bradshaw and this, my story:
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play, but worship God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

The sobering facts about my football experience are that my obligations to the human race, as the result of God’s gift to me for my opportunity to practice medicine, are more important, than football. I am dedicated to the administration of the covenants of my Oath of Hippocrates to all human beings, including Charlie Bradshaw.

Thus my forgiveness of Charlie Bradshaw was the result of being a Christian physician. God gave me the gift and I forgave Charlie Bradshaw. In forgiving Charlie Bradshaw for his transgressions on me, I fulfilled the Gospel of God, as a physician. My forgiveness was from my heart filled with the connection with God, a manifestation of my spirituality. My practice of medicine had always been from my heart not my billfold. My practice of medicine, one of the 8 fields of knowledge, was one of the main ways I worshiped God. Medicine connected me spiritually with God.

After awakening I told my wife that I had forgiven Charlie Bradshaw for abusing me, because I finally realized that he was mentally ill and as a physician I must do everything possible to heal him, even in his after life. Even though I could not reach his physical being, his soul was within the reach of a physician’s healing prayer and possibly his Eternal Promise.

Then, my wife and I went to the Centenary Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky that Sunday to hear my nephew Mark Minix Jr. play the largest pipe organ in Kentucky. He played all the songs for 3 services. Mark Jr. is one of a very few his age who is accomplished for the pipe organ in this area. So it was a special event for us. Were we proud of his performance.

During the service the minister preached forgiveness. She used Forest Gump and Jenny as an analogy. Jenny who had been abused by her father fell down in front of the house she had been abused in and began throwing rocks at her old home. Forest said there are never enough rocks to throw, after she ran out of rocks. The minister said, like Jenny, we needed to throw our burdensome rocks away and forgive our trespasser. Jenny had been sexually abused, a different form of abuse than the abuse in my story.

After she instructed us, while walking out of the of the sanctuary, I tossed a piece of paper into the trash can with the words “I forgive Charlie Bradshaw for abusing me in football”.

That same Sunday morning was the first morning that I woke up to the sounds of abusive coaches in my dreams. I have had night mares about our team’s football abuse at the hands of Bradshaw and his thugs. But never had I heard the sounds in a dream. I heard the screams and yelling of the coaches and the moans and groans of my teammates in the handball court. I could see us doing the elephant walk (bear crawl) around the handball court. The thermostat was set as high as it could be set. Some said it was 120* in the hand ball court. There were vomit boxes in all 4 corners.

As we circled the hand ball court occasionally a player would vomit in a box. The boxes were filled with saw dust. One coach had the job of fetching saw dust for each practice. “Copper Head” Hawkins was said to be the fetcher. He was an extremely disliked person, because of his abuse to players. He bragged about running a player to death at another “institution of higher-learning” before coming to Kentucky. He was a dementor coach who would suck -out the air and life that surrounded any player he encountered.

One player collapsed and “One Eye” Bud Moore, a coach from Alabama, grabbed him by the seat of his shorts and the nape of his T shirt and ran him head first into the end of the handball court wall. The player fell lifeless on the floor. “One Eye” and assistant Bob Ford each grabbed a leg and drug him out the door and threw him into the hallway. They slammed the door when they returned, came back in and we continued without missing a beat.

A lifeless player had no value to those coaches. He was part of my group. In each room we players did similar drills under similar sweltering conditions. The first room was a room with a blocking sled with wood wrapped in towels. No Cushions. We had not shoulder pads. We hit the wood until some shoulders began bleeding and some players injured their shoulders. We were dressed in shorts, T-shirts and tennis shoes (sneakers).The last room was feature bouts. We lined up in a circle around the room. The coaches called out 2 names. The 2 went to the center and fought it out until one was pinned. When you won you went out. If you lost you stayed
and fought until you won. It was extremely hot in each and every room.

I did what I was told during preseason conditioning and adapted to the commando survival test. The conditioning was not beyond my physical limitations. I endured and survived. I “sucked it up”. During the preseason conditioning I was on the 110% list that was posted on the bulletin board in the hallway of the practice center. I sustained a left knee injury, during preseason conditioning, that was later determined to be a lateral collateral and meniscus injury and missed one day of preseason conditioning for whirl pool treatment and was taken off the 110% list. So I went back and practiced with the wrapped bad knee and got back on the list.

I was doing what the coaches wanted me to do and doing it well. The exhilaration of becoming “gung ho” commando became a source of concern to me. I wasn’t becoming the adult I wanted to be. I was becoming a commando, what Bradshaw wanted me to be. It was easy for me to become aggressive. At times I enjoyed the combat. I came out of preseason conditioning with an injured left knee but in good standing with the coaches except for one little difference.

Bradshaw on 2 occasions sent assistant Chenck Sengel to fetch me at the ROTC Building. The first time was at the beginning of the Spring Semester during preseason conditioning. The second was deep into the semester during Spring Practice. Both meetings were the same. He demanded that I quit my Pre-med curriculum. Specifically he wanted me to drop Botany on Tues and Thursday morning and take his PE course. That PE course was just another football practice 2 mornings each week. They were unsanctioned practices.

During the second meeting, that took place in the Spring Practice cycle Bradshaw gave me an ultimatum i.e. quit pre-med or quit football. Both were the most important things at that time in my life, near and dear to my heart. He got furious and threw my books at the coaching office window. I went around the desk and gathered my books up and he told me to go over and get in the corner with God and work it out. I had to sacrifice one for the other. That I did and told him when he returned that I would continue with Pre-Med and “pull out” from his football regime.

I knew he wasn’t going anywhere with his football and I was determined not to go there with him. His football offensive scheme was extremely juvenile and a far cry from any semblance of football offense knowledge, a far cry from Coaches Collier and Dodd. In other words he and his assistants did not know what they were doing on the offensive side of the ball. I would have a better chance at success in life on the side of a medical team.

Under Coach Collier as a freshman I led the UK Freshmen team during our games in passing, punting, total offense, and interceptions. I was captain of our Freshman Team and President of Kitten Lodge. I had a 3.1 over all in Pre-Med my first semester under Coach Blanton Collier. Under Bradshaw I was on his 110% preseason conditioning list and maintained a 3.3 GPA overall. I had done everything expected of me in UK football and the UK classroom. Yet, I was required to sacrifice one or the other.

Bradshaw was stubborn and unknowledgeable enough to miscalculate his omnipotence and my decision after his demands. I was never a poor plow boy. I would not submit to a hitching to Bradshaw’s plowline and his ultimate, coercive, totalitarian control. Thinking about our confrontation, in retrospect, I concluded that Charlie Bradshaw was sick. Why was Charlie Bradshaw so sick, sadistic, bombastic, ultra-religious, and abusive ? Why did he not respect his players as members of the human race and treat them humanely. Why did he not act responsibly for our health and welfare. Why did he not develop a good + relationship with his players and why did he not recognize their accomplishments with at lest a pat on the but for a job well done?

The 1961 University of Kentucky Football Freshman Team was a fleeting moment of UK football history. That is a sad statement. The history began with the hope and promise of success at the University of Kentucky after each player signed an agreement and committed to a covenant with Coach Collier and his All-Star assistants.

But it became a lifetime of pathologic syndromes for all the players with resultant morbidity and mortality, after Coach Blanton Collier was replaced. He was immediately replaced after the end of the first semester of 1961 and during the beginning of the Spring Semester of 1962.The players had no fore warning prior to the tragedy. And there was no intervention afterwards. The University never admitted their wrongs and has never apologized to the players for their mistreatments and crimes, even until this day. They did not intervene with psychological transitional help.

The University of Kentucky committed a tragic breech of trust and fiduciary responsibility, when they replaced Coach Blanton Collier with Charlie Bradshaw, because of the impact on the health and welfare of the players and the loss of scholarships of the players.
The players were, after the replacement, suddenly faced with a football regime, including the University of Kentucky administrators, who had no respect for the players and who did not act responsibly to the players. Everyone concerned with University of Kentucky football program, from the president of the University down, breeched the covenants with the players that was to keep the best interest for each of the players at the heart of their commitments.

From this research, it appears that Charlie Bradshaw was not mentally or professionally competent to become head football coach. His incompetence affected the players and will continue to affect the players for their lifetimes. The Post Traumatic Stress Reaction has affected and will affect the quality and duration each players life. Some of the assistants identified with Charlie Bradshaw and his pathologic state of mind and his mistreating sadism. Together they acted out Bradshaw’s sickness. He appeared to be a manic depressive with delusions of grandeur combined with a sadistic disorder.

Did Bradshaw die sick, ashamed, alone, remorseful, homeless, destitute and on drugs as reported by his close assistant coach? Some have claimed those facts. We players do not know for sure.

In spite of Bradshaw’s illness and the players’ Post Traumatic Stress and other disorders, that were the results of his illness, most of the surviving players, who “pulled out”, have become successful in their businesses, professional and personal lives, while carrying Bradshaw’s scars. The successes that resulted from “pulling out” from the Bradshaw regime and moving in other directions from him, have been revealed. The successes stand as a reminder of sweet revenge for many of the players. Revenge certainly is different from forgiveness.
About half of the players have forgiven Bradshaw. About half have not forgiven Bradshaw and do not intend to forgive him and his assistants. 100% have not and will not reconcile with Bradshaw as evidenced by the studies, because no player would want Bradshaw to coach their son in Bradshaw’s incompetent pathologic and unprofessional condition, that he exhibited in 1962. No player has embraced Bradshaw’s methods.

Bob Ford, Bradshaw’s ring leader evil assistant, is now practicing law in Wynne, Arkansas. If you travel along the Great River Road in the heart of eastern Arkansas’s Mississippi River Delta country, the road, designated a national scenic byway, will lead you from north to south to Wynne Arkansas, through this rich agricultural kingdom where cotton, rice, soybeans and wheat flourish in some of Arkansas’s richest soils. The Arkansa’s Cotton Grower’s Organization, is in Wynne.

Famous notables from Wynne are Bud Brooks, who won college football’s Outland Trophy in 1954, garnering the award as a member of the heralded “25 Little Pigs”, the moniker given to the 1954 Arkansas Razorbacks football team and Hugh “Bones” Taylor, a former Wynne Yellowjacket, who played wide receiver with the Washington Redskins from 1947-54, and was honored as one of the
70 Greatest Redskins in 2002. Taylor was later the head coach of the Houston Oilers in 1965, and was an assistant with the New York Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the San Diego Chargers. 22. Hugh “Bones” Taylor, Wynne coached the North team that I played against in the Hign School All American game in 1961.

The mural by Ethel Magafan in Wynne, Arkansas depicts the grief and hard work of “darkies picking cotton” and it expresses the shoulders, backs, legs and arms aching from too much work and too little control over their lives. Not far from Wynne is Stamps, Arkansa where Maya Angelou was reared. Maya wrote about the cotton picking environment of her child hood in Stamps in ” I Know Why The Cajed Bird Sings”. 81.

1954 is legendary in Arkansas football history. Nicknames for the team were tagged the Amazing Razorbacks and the twenty-and-three Little Pigs, finally shortened to the 25 Little Pigs. The players were small, few and fast. The thread of plowline coaches, mules and 100 yards of cotton weaves a familiar story.

John Barnhill coached Arkansas from 1946 thru 1949. The Razorbacks were 22-17-3 with one SWC championship and two bowls. Barnhill reluctantly made the switch from the single wing to the T formation for the 1949 season but had a 5-5 record. The health problems of Coach Barnhill surfaced in the 1948 season. His illness later was diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. He decided to devote full time to the athletic director’s responsibilities. Barnhill hired Coach Bowden Wyatt from Wyoming to Arkansas. Both were Neyland trained Tennessee men. He considered Kentucky’s Paul Bear Bryant. “A boy has to want to play football before he can play for me? Wyatt said, Out of his first spring practice came the thinnest, smallest varsity squad to represent Arkansas since the war years. 1953 was the “rendering season”. “The original Junction Boys without the junction.” It is said that some 250 pounders were rendered down to 185. They got as mean as the did lean. 83.
The thread of plowline coaches, mules and 100 yards of cotton weaves a familiar story. Now, attorney, Bob Ford would be comfortable in the unchanged cotton society and environment of Wynne, Arkansas.

As part of my therapy for my post traumatic stress disorder I composed a letter. The letter follows to the guilty parties posthumously. To: Frank Dickey, past President of University of Kentucky and past UK Athletics Board member Bernie A. Shively, past UK Athletic Director and past UK Athletics Board member Charlie Bradshaw, past Head UK Football
Coach and his past assistants whom he brought from outside UK with him. past UK Athletics Board members: Dr. Frank Peterson, Dr. A. D. Kirwan, Dr. Lee Chamberlain, James B. Allen, Dr. Aubrey Brown, Robert Stephens, Prof. William Tolman, Prof Jack Kuiper, Dr. Ralph Angelucci, Dr. Thomas Clark, Dr. Lyman Ginger, Prof W. W. Haynes, Dr. W. L. Mathews, Jr., Dr. D.. V. Terrell, Floyd Wright and Jim Daniel

Dear Sirs,
You disgraced the University of Kentucky, our university, with the termination of Coach Blanton Collier as head football coach and the hiring of Charlie Bradshaw. his replacement. Your foolish, unwise, decision, to make that coaching change, was after very poor judgment. We football players were very saddened and shocked with the loss of our Mentor Head Coach Blanton Collier. Coach Collier was a more experienced person than Bradshaw. Coach Collier knew his football. He was a trusted friend, counselor, and teacher. He was interested in each player’s football career, academics, education, future career and the player’s life after football. Coach Collier was wise, influential, trusted and the players’ supporter, guide, counselor, sponsor, advisor, and role model. Please compare for yourself the subsequent career of Coach Collier and Bradshaw’s. Coach Collier was immediately hired to coach the Cleveland Browns after UK, after your decision and actions. After Blanton Collier became coach “In 1963, the Cleveland Browns finished 10-4, and Jim Brown broke the NFL’s single-season rushing record with 1,863 yards. The following season, the Browns went 10-3-1 and then upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts 27-0 in the league championship. Another Eastern Conference title followed in 1965, but the team lost the title game to the Green Bay Packers. Despite Jim Brown’s retirement after the 1965 season, the Browns ran off another four consecutive winning seasons and went to the NFL championship in 1968 and 1969. Coach Collier had great respect for black players, which helped endear him to Jim Brown and his teammates. He retired in 1970.

Browns fans remember Collier’s tenure as a Golden Age of Browns football. The team was not shut out in any game, and Cleveland Stadium sold out for almost every game played during Collier’s stint in Cleveland.”

(Wikp.) At the time of Coach Collier’s termination our UK team was poised for greatness and prepared to make a run at the SEC Championship in 1962. We were very deep at each position before the annihilation and total destruction of our team by you men and Bradshaw. You, from your ill gotten decisions, destroyed that possibility, ruined our team and our chances for success. You hired a rank amateur who had no previous experience as a head football coach.

Bradshaw and some of his assistants were coach abusers who practiced verbal harassment, physical assault, and manipulation. We players were handed off to a tyrant. Bradshaw and some of his assistants were Bully-Boys who did not fully understand the art of coaching football. They did not possess the knowledge of winning coaches. Not included in that group were the coaches, who were left over from Coach Collier, who were desperately seeking other coaching employment. They moved on as soon as possible. Most of the players (30 out of 88 players began the 1962 season) were forced to leave the UK football program because of the horrific conditions.

Leaving a corrupt football program was not quitting for us. Leaving was a form of self preservation enabling us to play at the next level, LIFE. Remaining with that corrupt football program was not believing in Bradshaw and his system. Remaining was the only choice for some teammates. They had no way out. Some of the former assistants of Coach Collier experienced the same condition. They had no other job. They did not buy into the system either.
Unethical, dishonest, immoral behavior should not be tolerated for the sake of winning. You men in charge of this decision should be ashamed of yourselves. Bradshaw’s record reveals that he only won 38.6% of his games during his brief tenure as head coach at UK.

He and some of his assistants obviously did not know what they were doing. After UK he did not move on to greatness, like Coach Collier. Answer me. How much time, thought, investigation, research, consultation and vetting did you in preparation for such a change? Obviously very little. Bradshaw and you set the UK football program back 10 years. The Bradshaw Era was a UK football tragedy. We UK football players did not celebrate a Golden Age after your reckless decision. Not only were we players, who left the program, robbed of our football careers, we were forced to give up our Grant-in Aide Scholarships that would pay our tuition, room , board, and books during our college educations. Because of your misrepresentations, we were fraudulently forced to sign illegal waivers giving up our scholarships. I paid all my way through med school at UK after I left your Bradshaw program. We players signed Grant-in Aide Scholarships to play football at UK under
Coach Collier and his able assistants.

We invested our football careers, education and lives with UK. Because of you, and your decision to make a coaching change we received no return on our investment with UK. Instead we players were subjected to severe mistreatments and crimes. Grim, commando, win at all costs football that is coached by Bully Boys, who severely mistreat their players, has no place in football on any level. Bear Bryant had the decency to apologize to the Junction Boys for his mistreatments of them at Texas A&M. You as a group and Bradshaw have never apologized for Bradshaw’s Bully Boy mistreatments and crimes against our UK football players and team. Shame on all of you.

The following are our 1961-1962 UK Football morbidity and mortality statistics and results. These were not the stats we hoped for when we cast our lot with UK.Report – 1961-1962 UK Football Studies on Abusive coaching Behavior.

The total population of players on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshman Football Team was _____48______ at the beginning of the 1961 Fall season.
A total of ___47__players were mailed the questionnaire. One of the players was never found.
47 of 48 (97.9%) of the players or their families were contacted and provided with study questions. One player from Ohio (Mike Schnider) was the only player missed because he was never found.
A total of ______24______players responded to the study questionnaire.
_______1_______ player was excluded because of random error.
A total of ____23________players make up the sample population included in this study.
100% of the players were Caucasian.
The average age was ____18 _________ in 1961.
100% of the players were male.
Their religious affiliations were not determined in this survey study.
___63 (30 players)__% of the players were from Kentucky. __37 (18 players)__% were from outside Kentucky.
A total of ___55_____% replied with answers to the questions.
A total of ____45____% did not reply with answers to the questions.
A total of ____20_____% of the players’ families replied with answers to the questions for their deceased member, because they knew the answers. They only answered the questions they new the answers for.
Of the population sample of players who replied to the questions the following were the results:
A total of __100____% of the players in this sample met at least one positive coaching abuse criterion as described in the method. Every player received multiple forms of abuse.
“The physical abuse was so common place (20+ times per player per practice) …….. the Coaches were gunning for them”, one player said.
A total of __21____% were struck by a coach’s fist, or punched one or more times.
__26____% forearmed by coaches one or more times.
___9___% kicked by the coaches one or more times.
___4___% teeth were broken by the coaches
___13___% received broken or injured bones
___13___% were head butted by the coaches one or more times.
A total of ___61___% received no medical attention for their football injuries that occurred during practice one or more times. .
A total of ___52___% played while they were injured.
A total of ___52___% had improper medical or surgical treatment
A total of ___9___% were told according to a second opinion that their treatments were improper by the team physicians at the University of Kentucky.
In addition ___30____% offered additional coaches’ physical mistreatments that were not directly asked as a question in this survey study.
In addition ___9____% offered additional coaches’ physical abuse that were not directly asked as a question in this survey study.

Male life expectancy hit a record 75.2 in 2004, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced Ref: USA Today – Your Health by Kim Painter

The 1961 Freshman team members who continued with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962, according to football programs were: (13) Jim Foley, Terry Clark, Jesse Grant, Jim Komara, Giles Smith, Phil Picket, Bob Brown, Bill Jenkins, Clyde Richardson, Phil Branson, Joe Parrott, Paul Pisani, and Bob Brown = 13

Freshman Art LaFleur, the last player signed by Coach Collier in late December, 1961, who enrolled in the Spring Semester, January 1962, continued with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962 as a redshirt.Jim Chetham was attending school on football scholarship but not playing football in the Fall of 1962.

The 1961 freshmen players who were included in the Thin Thirty team picture were the following 10 players denoted by the asterisks.(10) Jim Foley*, Terry Clark*, Jesse Grant*, Jim Komara*, Giles Smith*, Phil Picket*, Bob Brown*, Bill Jenkins*, Clyde Richardson*, Phil Branson, Joe Parrott*, Paul Pisani, and Bob Brown = 10
Thin Thirty 1961 Freshman that are deceased: (2) Jim Foley and Phil Pickett, both from heart attacks = 2. The 1961 “Pullout” Freshman who did not continue with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962 that are deceased: (4) Jim Bolus, Riley Bozeman, Crosby Bright and Elvis Humble = 4.

Football players are generally in good physical condition. Most college football players are well taken care of. Among the 8,961 pro-football players born in the last 50 years, at least 130 are already deceased. Among 4,382 professional baseball players, 31 are known to have died. That means 1 in every 69 football players is deceased compared to 1 in every 154 baseball players.14 % of the pro-football players born in the last 50 years are deceased = 1 / 69 11.4 % of the last team recruited by Coach Blanton Collier are deceased. = 12 / 105 players

Dennie Schrecker, Darrell Cox, Thom Hutchinson, Clarkie Mayfield, Frank Sakal, Jock Stewart, Jim Foley, Phil Pickett, Jim Bolus, Riley Bozeman, Crosby Bright, Elvis Humble or 6 Upperclassmen and 6 freshmen in the fall of 1961.27 % of The Thin Thirty are Deceased = 8 / 30 These include both freshmen and upper classmen. Their ages now would be about 65-66.

30 % of The Thin Thirty Upper Classmen are deceased = 6/20
12.5 % Of the 1961 UK Freshmen Football team are deceased. These include The Thin Thirty Freshmen members + Freshmen “Pull Outs” = 6/48

20 % of The Thin Thirty freshmen are deceased = 2 / 10
10.5 % of the “Pull Out” freshmen are deceased = 4 / 38
The percentage deceased for The Thin Thirty Freshmen was near double The “Pull Out” Freshmen football players.
The Physical and Psychological Abuses, at the hands of Charlie Bradshaw and his assistants, that was sustained by the last team recruited by Coach Blanton Collier and his assistants was likened to Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome of Vietnam veterans by 2 psychologists close to the University of Kentucky football program at that time. The following are numbers for our service men and women who served in Vietnam. Vietnam War was from 1956-1975
17 % higher death rate among Vietnam veterans versus other veterans for other wars.

By 1983, deaths among Vietnam veterans remained 17 % higher than deaths among the other veterans.
Morbidity and Mortality was attributed to the following:
1. Post Traumatic Stress disorder associated with war
2. infectious diseases prevalent in Vietnam
3. exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange

The total population of players on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshman Football Team was _____48______
A total of ___47__players or their families, if the player was deceased, were mailed the questionnaire
_________1_______player was not found
A total of ______31______players responded
_____1_______ random error was excluded.
A total of ____30________players were included in this survey study sample population.
The following were the questions and how they were answered:
1. Do you agree with our making the documentary?
Yes _100%______ No ___________
2. Do you want to be included in the documentary ?
Yes__100%_____ No ____________
3. Will you allow us to use your video/audio clips from the Reunion in the documentary
Yes__90% ___ No_____3 %________ (military security issue for one player = 1 / 30)
Not Applicable ______7%_______
4. Will you allow us to use your study answers and Biography in the documentary anonymously?
Yes____100%__________ No_________
5. Would you want you son to play football for a coach like Charlie Bradshaw as Bradshaw behaved in 1962 ?
Yes________ No______97%______
No son ____ 3% or 1 / 30_______
6. Have you forgiven Charlie Bradshaw for mistreating you?
Yes___46.5 % ____ No___50 %____ N/A___3.5 %__
7. Are you working on forgiving Charlie Bradshaw?
Yes___14.8%____ No____51.9 % _____
Not Applicable___ 33.3 % _ for some who have forgiven.


Coach Collier disciplined players by running laps or running the player to the fence and back. One rhyme about a rather large fat coach was ” Big Bad Coach fat in the crack, all he could say, ‘was to the fence and back’.” On the UK football practice field that is a good sprint. Punishment might be staying after practice and going over and over a drill and push ups. If you weren’t on time you would come earlier the next day according to your time loss. If the team won or if we practiced great and went all out, we ate steak. When we lost or didn’t practice good and didn’t go all out, we ate burgers. Either way we ate good. The difference was the reward was even better eating. Elvis Humble’s letters we received during the abuse survey and study recognized the eating. No one ever went without eating. Missing study hall we were given extra study hall. If we made good grades we did not have to go to study hall. If we were late for study hall, we came the next day early.

If there was disorder in the house, the coaches would call the president of the house (me for Kitten Lodge) and I would hold a meeting to straighten out the disorder. Coach Collier let the players govern themselves to a certain degree in the football house. He believed it was the democrtic way adn probably felt leaders would assert themselves. At 6 feet and 190 pounds, I always used the Big guys as sergeants at arms. No player was ever hit, butted, kicked, or played when seriously injured when Coach Collier coached us.

The only time I played ping pong in our recreation room on the main floor was when the big linemen had to go to study hall. I couldn’t take the paddles away from the big guys or at least I did not try. Coach Collier believed that performance mistakes should not be punished, particularly, when there had been good effort. He believed that performances mistakes were part of the learning curve for players. Consequences needed to be seen by team members as fair and appropriate for misbehavior. For each team rule Coach Collier had consequences arranged in order from least to most severe. We knew up front what the rules and punishments were.

Punishments should consist of logical consequences that follow naturally for misbehavior. If we were late for the bus, the bus left without us. If we were late for the practice, we arrived early next practice. Coach Collier punished behavior not the player. He let the player know the behavior was being punished, not the player, and the player’s behavior had to be changed. Coach Collier and his assistants used punishment calmly, rather than knee-jerk in an over-reaction. Collier never seemed to punish out of anger or rage. He was not hasty to apply punishment. Coach Collier considered the misbehavior over a period of time, before applying punishment.

Rather than adding something unreasonable, he took away something desirable that would result in less resentment for punishment of bad behavior.

The mule digger doesn’t select the thoroughbred horse to plow his cotton field, as the abusive coach doesn’t select the superior player to play ball. Why recruit a thoroughbred and make him pull a plow? Most of the pull outs from Charlie Bradshaw were not mules. They had more respect for themselves than allowing themselves to be submited to coaching abuse for an extedned length of time. Thoroughbreds and superior athletes are self driven and dedicated. Both just need to be trained and coached-up and then turned loose. Charlie Bradshaw abused the 1962 University of Kentucky team down from 105 players to 30. Rather than trying to plow a cotton field with a few mules, why wouldn’t Bradshaw want to reap all 100 yards of cotton with the entire team? As the inexperienced new super-coach in Louisville said, “You may beat us, but we want you to leave the field knowing you played a tough football team.”
If you don’t believe him look at his red badge of courage.

Bradshaw and other abusive coaches won the shouting but lost the war. Much was claimed but victories were few. Abusive, inexperienced coaches set unattainable expectations and goals for their players with negative preparations. The plowing cannot be finished and the cotton cannot be reaped, if you don’t have enough team, no matter how often you beat your mules praticularly if some are injured or die in harness. Bear Bryant said, “I’m older now, and not as dumb, I hope, and some things I would do differently because I know better”. “Has anybody thought to ask the Junction Boys if it was worth it?

In 1939, in his book Farewell to Sport, Paul Galico wrote, “College football is one of the last great strongholds of genuine old-fashioned American hypocrisy…… If there is anything good about college football it is the fact it seems to bring entertainment, distraction, and pleasure to many millions of people. But the price, the sacrifice to decency, I maintain, is too high.” 23.

Some have written that some Christian coaches might be too good to coach American Football. An article was published about the Georgia Bulldogs’ (whom were picked to finish No. 1 in 2008) head coach, Mark Richt. The article described how nice Coach Richt is and wondered whether he had the toughness to succeed as a college football coach. 82. Just before Vince Dooley, then Georgia’s athletics director, offered Mark Richt the head football coaching job after the 2000 season, he spoke with Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. Richt had spent 15 seasons with Bowden’s Seminoles, primarily as offensive coordinator.

“The one thing that worries me about him is he’s too nice,” Bowden told Dooley. Seven seasons later, Richt is still as nice, but also has won nearly 80% of his games, becoming one of only nine coaches in major-college history to record 70 or more wins in his first seven seasons. He also restored the glory-glory to old Georgia, as the fight song goes by winning two Southeastern Conference championships. Richt isn’t just nice, he’s a PRACTICING Christian. And Christian coaches will always have to answer the “passion gap.” He doesn’t give lip service to Christianity, he walks it. Fans want someone who is as passionate about their team as they are passionate. And a “Christian” countenance can often be misconstrued as an inverted priority, particularly for a southern college.

This addresses a broader issue about Christians in demanding high stress positions. There are so many positions in this world that seemingly require one’s heart and soul. Whether you’re talking about being a world class physician, business executive or sports figure the challenges are the same. How do you apply yourself in a career that demands your all? How does one keep faith first? These are challenges that many believers deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes, we succeed and praise God and sometimes we fail miserably. but we should never cease to make the Word of God our Lord, regardless of where we are.

John D. said, “There is a fine line between competitive sports that teach teamwork, effort and mental toughness in the best tradition of “muscular Christianity” and blood sport that degrades and destroys human beings for the gratification of the masses.”

Apostle Paul was not ashamed to compare the Christian life to an athletic race (I Cor. 9:24-27; II Tim. 4:7). On the other hand, Christians in Paul’s era were frequently the victims of gladiatorial games, and Christianity eventually put an end to the savage spectacles in the Coliseum, a brutal form of entertainment that football and other pro sports, at their worst, sometimes resemble.

1Cr 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Hbr 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds
12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Coach Richt doesn’t tether his players to a plowline or beat them like rented mules. He utilizes the 4 R’s of coaching i.e. Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, and Recognition. Coach Richt doesn’t tether, but influences his players with positive coaching and positive expectations utilizing the Rein of the Word of God. Coach Richt doesn’t treat his players like beasts of burden but children of God. The Golden rule is important to Coach Richt and his team.


Out of control coaches who endanger athletes and cause serious injury to their athletes or opponents’ athletes should be reported on abuse hot line: 1-800-Children or call your county attorney for the adult athletes. Let’s stop tolerating Athlete Abuse. Kids are not little adults and have human rights, not forfeited when they step within the boundry lines or on the court.

A recent study revealed that physicians found that exploring domestic violence in the clinical setting was analogous to “opening Pandora’s box.” These issues that prevented physicians reporting need to be addressed in training programs. Further studies should be done to assess the generalization that these findings to other groups of physicians and patients. 91.

Since the reporting of athletes’ physical and emotional abuse has not become common clinically, one can assume the “Pandora’s box” rule holds true for athletes. Physicians are not regularly examining athletes for abusive coaching and not reporting athletes abuse, even when the worst abuse of all occurs, death.

Some have patient’s communication inabilities. Doctors may lack confidence in their doctor-patient relationship. Both the patient and doctor might have difficulty revealing intimate problems. Doctors might feel a sense of entrapment by these expectations. 93.

Health care providers are in a unique position to help victims of athlete and other abuses and neglect. But, too often, health care providers do not discuss abuse with their patients or screen patients for domestic violence, or take a history for athletes’ abuse. Fewer than ten percent of primary care physicians routinely screen patients for domestic violence during regular office visits, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999. 90. Similarly, Athlete Abuse Awareness is lacking and under examined in the clinical setting, like domestic abuse.
Physicians are in a good position to identify and manage athlete abuse, but like the study of domestic violence the estimated prevalence in their practice populations appears low, due to lack of identification of the problem. Physicians might be dealing, like with domestic violence, with a lack of time, confidence or experience in dealing with family violence and athlete abuse, They might lack information and access to referral agencies. 92.

Athletes have the same problematic lacks of information and referral. A study concluded that athletes play a greater role in some abusive behaviors themselves than nonathletes and that role modeling may be an important determinant of these behaviors. 89. Coaches, as good role models, can act to curb abusive behavior by athletes to others by not being their abusive coaches. The abused, abuse.

Families and athletes will not face retribution by their coaches if they report coaching abuse to their doctors and are examined by their doctors with athlete endangerment as the chief complaint. Athlete patients’ records are confidential . Physicians should partner with the Adult and Child Health Improvement, Department of Public Health and educate and enlighten coaches, players, parents, schools, and their communities about coaching abuse. Health departments appear inept and not concerned for athlete health and welfare. Health department doctors are poor cousins of the medical community. They are undertrained and have no money for programs.

If a young athlete reports to their parent possible coaching physical or psychological abuse or if the parent becomes concerned about possible coaching physical or psychological abuse, the child athlete should be taken to his or her physician and the doctor should take a complete sports participation history and do a physical examination. If the doctor believes the complaint rises to the level of endangerment and/or abuse, the doctor should report the abuse to the authorities, child protection agency, commonwealth attorney or state police of the suspected child athlete abuse if the injury is serious.

If a doctor or other health care personnel encounters an emergency patient athlete as the result of inadequate coach supervision and coaching abuse, the doctor should report the abuse to the authorities, child protection agency, commonwealth attorney or state police of the suspected child abuse.

“Mandatory reporting and screening laws are proliferating, and emergency physicians must be aware of the laws or risk criminal charges and malpractice claims themselves . Laws specifically provide physician immunity with respect to breaches of confidentiality whenever reports are made in good faith. These laws reflect a societal need to identify and intervene on both the medical and legal aspects of certain problems such as child athlete abuse. The coroner, departments of health and social services, law enforcement, and the medical board, are some of the authorities to which emergency physicians are required to report. Everyday emergency practice requires awareness and compliance with myriad reporting laws.” 64.

Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Emergency Department. Forensic Emergency Medicine, Part Ii Topics in Emergency Medicine. 21(3):63-72, September 1999. Mallon, William K. MD, FACEP, FAAEM; Kassinove, Andrew JD, MD.

Child athlete physical abuse is a special category of child abuse in general. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines child physical abuse as: “The physical injury or maltreatment of a child under the age of eighteen by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened thereby…88.

The parent or caretaker need not have intended to hurt the child for it to constitute physical abuse. The complete sports participation history, by the physician or other health care personnel, will suggest physical and emotional coaching abuse from inadequate supervision from the following signs of THE ABUSIVE COACH:

Non-accidental Physical Injury to a child means substantial physical pain or any impairment of physical condition.

When a player dies due to heat stroke while under the supervision of a coach, baring some other additive condition.

When there is evidence of withholding drinking water. Practicing causing extreme exertion of the players.

Over-practice Practicing in dangerous heat conditions when the heat index is severe enough for heat stroke. A heat index of 95* or more of extreme exertion of players,.

Causing players to have physical injury and substantial physical pain and impairment of physical condition

When the coach inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the player physical injury by other than accidental means;

When the coach creates or allows to be created a risk of physical injury to the player by other than accidental means

Regularly useing public embarrassment and humiliation on his/her athletes

Is disinterested in the feelings and sensitivities of his/her players
Rarely uses praise or positive feed back
Is a yeller
Demeans his/her players
Plays “head games” with his/her athletes
Is personally dishonest and untrustworthy
Creates a team environment based on fear and devoid of safety
Is never satisfied with what his/her athletes do.
Is overly negative and a pro at catching athletes doing things wrong
Is more interested in his/her needs then those of his/her players
Over-emphasizes the importance of winning
Tends to be rigid and over-controlling, defensive and angry
Is not open to constructive feedback from players or other parents
Uses excessive conditioning as punishment
Can be physically abusive
Ignores his/her athletes when angry or displeased
Is a bully (and therefore a real coward)
Coaches through fear and intimidation
Is a “know-it-all”
Is a poor communicator
Only cares about his/her athletes as performers, not as individuals
Consistently leaves his/her athletes feeling badly about themselves
Kills his/her athletes’ joy and enthusiasm for the sport
Is a bad role model
Is emotionally unstable and insecure
Earns contempt from players and parents
Coaches through guilt are masters of DENIAL!!!!!

Child and adult athlete psychological or emotional abuse is a category of abuse. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines emotional abuse as: “acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers (supervising coach) that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. In some cases of emotional abuse, the acts of parents or other caregivers alone, without any harm evident in the child’s behavior or condition, are sufficient to warrant child protective services (CPS) intervention. Emotional abuse is more than just verbal abuse. It is an attack on a child’s emotional and social development, and is a basic threat to healthy human development. Emotional abuse can take many forms. The American Medical Association AMA describes Emotional Abuse as: “when a child is regularly threatened, yelled at, humiliated, ignored, blamed or otherwise emotionally mistreated. For example, making fun of a child, calling a child names, and always finding fault are forms of emotional abuse.” 88-2., 88-23.
Belittling limits the child athlete’s potential by limiting the athletes own sense of his or her potential.
Corrupting teaches child athlete to engage in antisocial behavior and the child athlete grows up unfit for normal social experience.
Cruelty to child athletes makes all areas of learning be affected – social, emotional, and intellectual development are hindered. Child athletes need to feel safe in order to learn to form healthy relationships.
Extreme Inconsistency by the coaches means that the coach is inconsistent in his or her response to the child athlete, the child athlete cannot learn what is expected from the start, and all areas of learning can be effected throughout the child’s lifespan.
Harassment scares the child athlete, and repeated exposure to fear can alter the child athlete physically, lowering their ability to deal with other stressful situations.
Ignoring a child athlete deprives the child athlete of interactions necessary for emotional, intellectual and social development.
Lack of control can cause anxiety and confusion in child athletes and can lead to a variety of problematic behaviors as well as impair intellectual development.
Terrorizing, like harassment, evokes a stress response in child athletes. Repeated stress response alters the child athlete physically, lowering their ability to fight off disease, increasing their risk for many stress-related ailments. Aside from the physical affects, a child athlete living in terror has no opportunities to develop anything other than unhealthy and anti-social survival skills.

Emotional abuse is the core of all forms of abuse, and the long-term effects of child athlete abuse stem mainly from the emotional aspects of abuse. The psychological aspect of most abusive behaviors defines them as abusive. Despite the fact that the long-term harm from abuse is most often caused by the emotional aspects of the abuse, emotional abuse is the most difficult of the forms of abuse to substantiate and prosecute. Actual physical injury is often required before the authorities can step in and assist a child athlete. The effects of abuse are very similar to symptoms of many childhood mental and physical disorders, which makes identifying emotionally abused children difficult. 88.


Sports accidents happen while playing by the rules in safe sports environments with proper coaching care-taking supervision and conduct. But direct or indirect endangerment of a child or adult athlete by a coach resulting in serious injury is unlawful.

Contact sports with borderline violence seem to be accepted in our society because sports is an area of life in which it seems permissible to suspend usual moral standards. Studies show that athletes commonly distinguish between game morality and the morality of everyday life. A college basketball player says, “In sports you can do what you want. In life it is more restricted”. A football player says “The football field is the wrong place to think about ethics”. 87. But athletes do not forfeit their human rights when they step between the boundry lines or on the court.

Athletes model their behavior and attitudes after those adults they admire. Coaches of athletes are role models. We all know the joke
“I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”. But the majority of hockey players want to abolish violence. At annual meetings of the National Hockey Players Association violence has been a major issue, with players asking owners to impose much stiffer penalties (including expulsion). But hockey club owners (sponsors and the media) refuse to discourage the violence, because it attracts spectators who come to see “red ice”. Players who do not participate in the violence endanger their jobs. There is a difference in sports violence and illegal violence. Both have different affects on athletes. Sports plays a major role in reinforcing the concern with success, winning, and dominance. Viewed by many that on the sports field these alone are the goals.

Sports Illustrated took an “unscientific poll of fans” and reported in its August 8, 1988 issue that “everyone who had ever been a spectator at a sporting event of any kind had, at one time or another, experienced the bellowing of obscenities, racial or religious epithets … abusive sexual remarks to women in the vicinity, fistfights between strangers and fistfights between friends”. Increased spectator violence is one more manifestation of the escalation of violence which has taken place in our society in the last 20 years. Violence between athletes can only serve to encourage it.

30,000,000 children are involved in youth sports in North America, under the direction of 4.5 million coaches and 1.5 million administrators. When these programs place inordinate emphasis on competition and winning they become detrimental. Most youth sport coaches lack even rudimentary knowledge of the emotional, psychological, social and physical needs of children. 87.
Many athletes report the enormous importance of the coach to a young boy or girl. Players look to their coaches as figures of wisdom and authority. This deep emotional relationship and respect for the coach’s authority facilitates players’ transference of moral responsibility from themselves to the coach. A core idea transmitted by coaches (and fathers) is that “playing the game is just like the game of life. The rules you learn will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.”

Some of the rules that are emphasized sound good like teamwork, sacrifice for the common good, never giving up, giving 110 percent of yourself and in the hands of sensitive, knowledgeable, well-trained coaches they can be used to teach youth valuable habits. But such coaches are far from the rule. Examples abound of coaches teaching youth the wrong things, in many cases without even knowing it, to the point of being a serious social problem.

When “60 Minutes” did a program on youth football they found that the emphasis was very much on winning and found that the sport was no longer fun. The emphasis of winning deprives youth of the pleasure of playing the game. Eventually, integrity is lost and it becomes the winning-at-all-costs games. The adults involved with Little League Baseball become oriented toward winning, losing and competition at all costs. Too many of our sports programs are geared exclusively toward winning instead of focusing on enjoying sports, reaping physical benefits, and instilling a lifelong involvement in athletics. Many coaches think it is ok to use pushing, yelling, dehumanizing the players and and use sexual slurs .. often to provoke boys to prove their manhood. Sacrificing the body and true courage involve taking risks at the right time, in the right place, for the right reason.

An excellent athlete has competitiveness when the athlete wins each move or action or sports technique they make. They strive for continuous improvement. They always want to be the best they can be. The sum of a lot of athletes’ who are on a team small individual technique wins, will add up to the big win. The excellent athlete has self discipline to organize and carry on the necessary tasks to get any job done, however long it takes,
whatever it takes. Good self esteem and confidence, that a player can do anything he or she sets out to do want to helps you when a player makes a mistake, because the excellent athlete keeps coming back.

All coaches should have training in child development and physiology. Coaches should have background checks. There should be no difference between game morality and the morality of everyday life. Injuring other players in order to “take them out” of the game and all unsporstman-like violence should be penalized and coaches reported to authorities.

“A major justification for our nation’s enormous investment in competitive sports is that ‘sports build character, teachs team effort, and encourage sportsmanship and fair play’. Studies indicate that youth involved in organized sports show less sportsmanship than those who are not involved. One study found that as the children grew older they moved away from placing high value on fairness and fun in participation and began to emphasize skill and victory as the major goals of sport. In several other studies it was found that youth who participated in organized sports valued victory more than non-participants, who placed more emphasis on fairness.
Instead of learning fair play and teamwork, too many of our children are learning winning is everything. It is time to regulate children’s sports so that youth will really learn the pro-social attitudes and values that they are supposed to learn from sports, instead of the obsessive competitiveness, emotional callousness, and disdain for moral scruples that are so often precursors to violence.

Sports violence can be defined as behavior which causes harm, occurs outside of the rules of the sport, and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport (Terry and Jackson, p.2, 115.). Leonard (p. 165, 113.) identifies two forms of aggression in sports. Instrumental aggression is non-emotional and task-oriented. Reactive aggression has an underlying emotional component, with harm as its goal. Violence is an outcome of reactive aggression.” 94.

An increase in both frequency and seriousness of acts of violence has been well documented. Violence is most prevalent in team contact sports, such as ice hockey, football, and rugby. While most occurrences of violence emanate from players, others, including coaches, parents, fans, and the media, also contribute to what has been described as an epidemic of violence in sports today (Leonard, p. 166, 113.).

Considerable research has been done on spectator violence. A central issue is whether fans incite player violence or reflect it (Debenedotte, p. 207, 110.). The evidence is inconclusive. Spectators do take cues from players, coaches, cheerleaders, and one another. Spectators often derive a sense of social identity and self-esteem from a team. Emulation of favorite players is an element of this identification. Group solidarity with players and coaches leads to a view of opposing teams as enemies and fosters hostility towards the “out group” and, by extension, its supporters, geographical locale, ethnic group, and perceived social class (Lee, p. 45, 112.).
Mass media also contribute to the acceptability of sports violence. Leonard (p. 166,113.) maintains that the media occupies a paradoxical position.

On the one hand it affords ample exposure to sports-related violence via television, magazines, newspapers, and radio, thus providing numerous examples to children who may imitate such behavior. It glamorizes players, often the most controversial and aggressive ones. Its commentary is laced with descriptions suggestive of combat, linking excitement to violent action. On the other hand, the exposure given to sports violence by the media has stimulated increased efforts to control and prevent such behavior.

Theoretical Explanations of Sports Violence
There are three major theories that seek to explain violent aggression in sports (Terry and Jackson, p. 27; Leonard, pp. 170-71,113). The biological theory, proposed most notably by Nobel prize winner Konrad Lorenz, sees aggression as a basic, inherent human characteristic. Within this context, sports is seen as a socially acceptable way to discharge built-up aggression, a safety valve.
The psychological theory states that aggression is caused by frustration; it is situational. Frustration results when one’s efforts to reach a particular goal are blocked (Leonard, p. 170,113). In sports, frustration can be caused by questionable calls by officials, failure to make a particular play, injuries that interfere with optimum performance, heckling from spectators, or taunts by coaches or players.

The social learning theory has received the most empirical verification (Leonard, p. 171,113) and maintains that aggressive behavior is learned through modeling and reinforced by rewards and punishments. Young athletes take sports heroes as role models and imitate their behavior. Parents, coaches and teammates are also models who may demonstrate support for an aggressive style of play.

According to Terry and Jackson (p. 30, 115.), reinforcement for acts of violence may come from three sources:
The athlete’s immediate reference group–coaches, teammates, family, friends;
Structure of the game and implementation of rules by officials and governing bodies;
Attitudes of fans, media, courts, and society.
Reinforcement may take the form of rewards, such as praise, trophies, starting position, respect of friends and family. Vicarious reinforcement may be derived from seeing professional players lionized and paid huge salaries, in spite of, or because of, their aggressive style of play (Leonard, p. 171,113). Players who don’t display the desired degree of aggressiveness may receive negative reinforcement through criticism from parents and coaches, lack of playing time, harassment by teammates, opponents, or spectators.
These theories provide a basis for interventions that may curb excessive aggression, especially among young athletes. Terry and Jackson (p. 35) suggest that socialization forces, particularly reinforcement, offer the best focus for intervention. In addition, psychological forces can be addressed by modifying or controlling situations that produce frustration.

Children’s Involvement in Sports
Ideally children’s participation in team sports should be fun, contribute to their physical development and well-being, help to develop social skills, and promote a desire for continued involvement with physical activity. The objective of physical education in schools should be to encourage development of appropriate exercise habits, with emphasis on the recreational aspects of physical activities (Roskosz, p. 7, 114.).

Unfortunately, compelling evidence suggests that, for many children, the pressures associated with sports produce low self-esteem, excessive anxiety, and aggressive behavior. Children may eventually experience “sports burnout” and develop a lifelong avoidance of physical activity (Hellstedt, p. 60, 62).

In Hellstedt’s opinion (p. 62, 111), these negative outcomes of sports involvement are caused by adults, particularly parents and coaches. Lip-service is paid to sportsmanship and having fun, but rewards are reserved for winning. 87.

Often, encouragement to pursue victory is accompanied by direct and indirect signals that aggressive behavior is acceptable to achieve it. Hellstedt also suggests that anxiety about winning impedes performance and makes players more susceptible to injury. Physicians have noticed an increase in sports-related injuries in children (Hellstedt, p. 59, 111).

What Can Coaches and Physical Educators Do to Curb Violence in Youth Sports? Physical educators and coaches are in a key position to lay the groundwork for positive attitudes in sports. Guidelines for teaching children to shun violent behavior in sports include:
Put sports in perspective. Coaches should not emphasize winning at all cost. Enjoyment and the development of individual skills should be the objective. Coaches should be alert to and praise improvement. Athletic performance should not be equated with personal worth (Coakley, p. 106, 109.). Players should not be encouraged or allowed to play when injured or ill, as a demonstration of stoic virtue.
Stress participation. Hellstedt (p.70, 111) cites studies which show that many children 9-14 drop out of sports because they spend too much time on the bench and not enough on the field. They perceive themselves as unsuccessful because their level of performance doesn’t earn them more playing time. A study of young male athletes indicated that 90% would rather have an opportunity to play on a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning team.
Present positive role models. Sports violence is most prevalent in professional sports.

Coaches should avoid symbolic associations with professional teams–e.g. names, logos. They should not model their own coaching techniques on those of professional coaches (Coakley, pp. 107-8. 109.). Weiser and Love (p. 5) recommend that school coaches implement strategies to foster feelings of team ownership among players, replacing the traditional hierarchy–authoritarian coach, submissive players–that governs the coach-player relationship in professional sports. Encourage input, permit participation in decision-making, and listen to player feedback. Feelings of team ownership foster team cohesiveness, which in turn leads to better performance.

Integrate values-oriented intervention strategies into the curriculum. Waldzilak cites a number of intervention strategies, utilizing Kohlberg’s moral development model and social learning theories, which have been shown to produce improvement or modification of behavior, moral reasoning and perceptions of sportsmanship (Wandzilak et al., p. 14, 116.). Teachers and coaches should commit themselves to actively teaching positive sports-related values, and devise curricula that do so.

Involve parents. As the earliest and potentially the most influential role models, parents can have a critical impact on a child’s attitudes towards sports. Physical educators and coaches should inform parents of curricular activities and goals, alert them to signs of anxiety or aggressive behavior, encourage positive attitudes toward competition and physical activity, and promote realistic expectations for performance (Hellstedt, pp. 69-70, 111.).

And lesser, though still very serious forms of parental and coaching violence flourish, too often unchallenged by others. Most sports fans can recall examples in which they’ve witnessed parents and/or coaches publicly demean young children who “fail” in various sporting endeavors. 86.

The bottom line is too many young children are exploited by parents and coaches, who justify their abusive actions by arguing that they are molding the children for future success, stardom, and wealth.
The reality is no matter how hard (or early) an athlete begins perfecting his/her sport of choice, the odds of making the pros are minuscule, especially given the prevalence of severe injuries that can transpire in athletics.

Our laws do not allow children to work, least of all for excessive hours per day, but we venerate parents and coaches who push juvenile athletes to the extreme physical and emotional limits. The abused child-athlete is much like the child physically abused by way of family violence. 86.

It’s common knowledge that abused children frequently blame themselves and will do almost anything to please their parents or other familial abusers.

Likewise, the youthful athlete, still developing physically and emotionally, will internalize his or her athletic failures and do whatever the coach/parent says without complaint, hoping one day to finally gain acceptance via the ultimate symbol of success.
Yet how many athletes in a particular sport or event win the gold medal?


I. Establish a Rapport
Physicians must establish a physician-athlete relationship based on the holistic medical aproach. Both verbal and nov-verbal chanels provide clues that are iimportant for the physician who listens, smells and visualizes the athlete’s communications. The physician-athlete rapport is one of the most important characteristics of their interaction. Rapport is a commonality of perspective of being in “sync”, or being on the same “wavelength” as the athlete with whom you are interacting. “A sense of mutuality and understanding; harmony, accord, confidence, and respect underlying a relationship between physician-athlete is an essential bond between the physician and the athlete.” 22. The athlete’s physical, mental emotional, social, nutritional, environmental and spirital relationships must be understood and considered to achieve the balance necessary for the athlete’s successful performance during game competitions.
II. Record the Preliminary and follow-up Examinations
A. Record the history and physical of the sports participation examination and clear the athlete to participate in the sport if there is adequate supervision with your signature.
B. Record the history and physical of the follow-up sports participation examination and evaluate the athlete’s status after 4 weeks of practice and clear the athlete for a second time to participate in the sport if the athlete is tolerating the level of exertion and bodily demands of the practices and ascertain if the athlete has adequate supervision and no coaching abuse..
III. Treatment
Suggest and recommend treatments for conditions, illness, and injuries that result during the practices and games. No player is to practice or play while dehydrated, ill injured or inadequately supervised or abused.
IV . Proper Reporting
Prepare a written proper report and submit it to the authorities if inadequate supervision or abuses by the coaches are detected during the follow-up examinaitons. Follow-up the written reports to the authorities. Don’t allow the athletes to return to practice or play if there has been inadequate supervision and /or abuse. There should be no practices or games without an attending physician or trainer present.

Blanton Collier
College Georgetown, 1927
Date Of Birth 1/1/1907 in Millersburg, KY
Died: March 22, 1983 in Houston, TX

Kentucky Career 8 years W41 L36 Tied 3. Won 51% of UK Football Games
1954-1955 7-3 .700
1955-56 6-3-1 .600
1956-57 6-4 .600
1957-58 3-7 .300
1958-59 5-4-1 .500
1959-60 4-6 .400
1960-61 5-4-1 .500
1961-1962 5-5 .500
Cleveland Browns NFL
1963 14 10 3 1 .714
1964 14 10 3 1 .769 NFL Champions
1965 14 11 3 0 .786
1966 14 9 5 0 .643
1967 14 9 5 0 .643
1968 14 10 4 0 .714
1969 14 10 3 1 .769
1970 14 7 7 0 .500
Career UK and Cleveland W 116 192 games W60.4%

Charles “Charley” Bradshaw
College – Kentucky, graduated 1949
Date Of Birth 12/31/1923

Kentucky 7 25-41-4 .386
Troy 7 40-27-2 .594
Career 14 65-68-6 .489

1962-63 Kentucky 3-5-2 .300
1963-64 Kentucky 3-6-1 .300
1964-65 Kentucky 5-5 .500
1965-66 Kentucky 6-4 .600
1966-67 Kentucky 3-6-1 .300
1967-68 Kentucky 2-8 .200
1968-69 Kentucky 3-7 .300

1976-77 Troy 8-1-1 .850
1977-78 Troy 6-4 .600
1978-79 Troy 7-2 .778
1979-80 Troy 6-3-1 .650
1980-81 Troy 8-2 .800
1981-82 Troy 3-7 .300
1982-83 Troy 2-8 .200


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72. Saturday, September 06, 2008C-J Defends Max Gilpin Story This from Bennie L. Ivory, vice president and executive editor of The Courier-Journal
73. Jefferson schools shift athletic events to 7 p.m. in response to heat
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74. Athlete death blamed on excessive coaching Political Gateway. Bob Hoffman
75. Policy on heat stroke misses key antidote Pool of ice water could save victims By Andrew Wolfson and Jason Frakes The Courier-Journal September 4, 2008 NKY.Com » New
76. Police to investigate PRP player’s death The Courier-Journal • August 27, 2008
77. Kentucky Constitution Section 227 Prosecution and removal of local officers for misfeasance, malfeasance, or neglect.
78. Fearsome opponent By Patrick Saunders
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79. Discover Science, technology, the future Lights Out Can contact sports lower your intelligence? by Barry Yeoman December 3, 2004
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82. Are Christian Coaches Tough Enough? by Motte Brown on Aug 5, 2008 at 9:56 AM in THE LINE
83. Bridging Southern Cultures, edited by John Lowe
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122. NUTRITION & FITNESS -HYDRATION GUIDELINES FOR SOCCER PLAYERS DURING HOT WORKOUTS Gary Nelson, President Acceleration IndianaSources- Frappier Acceleration Sports Nutrition-Guidelines for Hot Workouts – Nanna L. Meyer, PH.D., Acceleration Sports Nutritionist Fishers Soccer Club
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