Suit charges college player died from disregard for health, safety

Aug. 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM
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ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A Maryland college football player died two years ago from head trauma caused by disregard for his health and safety, his family charges in a lawsuit.

The suit, filed by the family of Derek Sheely, names two coaches and an assistant athletic trainer at Frostburg State University, the NCAA and the maker of Sheely's helmet, Schutt Sports, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

Sheely, a fullback, and others were forced to take part in pre-season drills where players ran into each other, with each player receiving "30-40" blows to the head, charges the suit, filed last week in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

After several days of receiving head injuries, Sheely complained of a headache on Aug. 22, 2011, saying he "didn't feel right."

Assistant coach Jamie Schumacher told him to "quit acting like a [expletive] and get back out there," the suit charges.

Sheely returned to the field and collapsed. He never regained consciousness before dying Aug. 28, 2011.

The lawsuit alleges Frostburg coaches "created an environment where players would be punished if they disclosed their injuries."

"It is inconceivable to us how, with all the attention on concussions, there is still no unified enforcement to prevent dangerous drills, stop false safety claims, or ensure proper medical attention to concussed athletes," the player's mother, father and sister said in a statement.'

Frostburg and Schutt Sports declined comment on the suit. A NCAA spokesperson could not be reached.

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