Coaches, trainers and other athletic officials will be closely following the trial of former Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason Stinson, which begins today.
Stinson is charged with reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the heatstroke death of 15-year-old Max Gilpin who collapsed during practice last year. Twenty-nine high school football players in the U.S. have died from heatstroke in the last 15 years, and it’s believed that Stinson is the first coach to face criminal charges for a player’s death.
National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research director Frederick O. Mueller says the case could trigger major changes in high school sports.
“If there is a guilty verdict, I’m sure coaches are going to be really concerned about their positions and how they handle the players and safety and maybe it’ll even affect people going into coaching…I don’t know,” he says.
The case has already prompted new heat-safety rules for Kentucky coaches.