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Students hospitalized after football coach allegedly made them do 400 push-ups

Students hospitalized after football coach allegedly made them do 400 push-ups

Several student football players at Rockwall-Heath High School in Texas were hospitalized

A number of high school athletes were left needing hospital treatment after their coach allegedly forced them to do hundreds of push-ups over the course of an hour as a punishment.

John Harrell, the football coach at Rockwall-Heath High School in Texas, has been placed on leave while the full details of what happened are ascertained by a third party, according to a letter sent to the parents of students.

The alleged incident took place last Friday during an off-season football training session at the high-end public school near Dallas.

The school has confirmed that an ‘independent third party’ is now investigating the incident, which left a number of the student athletes needing medical treatment and ‘some’ hospitalized.

In the letter sent to parents and obtained by local media, it was not clarified how many of the students were sent to hospital, nor what it was that caused them to be sent there, although one report suggests that at least eight were sent.

John Harrell has been placed on leave pending investigation.
Rockwall ISD

A parent of one of the hospitalized children later claimed that they were forced to do 300 push-ups in an hour without a break or any water.

The anonymous parent told FOX4: "As a parent we send our kids to school trusting that they will be cared for at the highest level.

“That has been the case until this unfortunate event."

The parent added that their child has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which can be fatal or result in permanent disability.

It occurs when muscle tissue that has been damaged releases proteins and electrolytes into the blood.

That can cause damage to the heart and kidneys and – as we’ve mentioned – it’s really serious.

Harrell was appointed the school’s head football coach around a year ago, although he has been involved in the program since 2019.

One of the school’s junior captains, Brady Luff, has claimed that the coach was not punishing the players, but trying to teach them some discipline.

"I’m praying for all the sides that are in the hospital. They’re my brothers,” he said.

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

Luff also claimed that water was available and players were free to leave should they wish.

The school sent a letter to parents about the alleged incident.
Google Maps

His mother, Stephanie Luff, added: "So, if anything was going on with this situation that I thought these kids were being harmed, I would’ve been the first person up at the principal’s office or wherever I need to go to have this shut down.”

In the letter to students, the school wrote: “Please know the district immediately implemented measures to address the situation and provide support for our students.

“The district is also taking interim action, including but not limited to, placing Coach Harrell on administrative leave while the investigation is pending and notifying appropriate outside agencies.

“District administrators and campus personnel have been in contact with the affected families and student-athletes.”

UNILAD has contacted Rockwall-Heath High School for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Rockwall ISD/ keith morris / Alamy

Topics: Sport, US News, Weird, Health, Football