Eight Texas high school students are hospitalized after being forced to do 400 push-ups
Eight Texas high school students are hospitalized after their coach forced them to do 400 push-ups in an hour without water breaks as punishment
- Rockwall-Heath High School’s head football coach John Harrell has been placed on administrative leave after Friday’s practice session
- Eight soccer players were hospitalized after being forced to do 300 to 400 push-ups in an hour
- Parents claim the students were forced to complete the strenuous workout with breaks
- The Dallas-based school has launched an investigation into the incident
- Harrell was promoted to head coach in January 2022 and has been with the school since 2019
Eight Texas high school students were hospitalized after being forced by a football coach to do 400 push-ups in an hour without a break.
Rockwall-Heath High School football coach John Harrell has been placed on administrative leave after he reportedly forced students to do 300 to 400 push-ups in an eighth hour period on Friday.
A mother, who asked not to be identified, claimed the football players were forced to complete the intense workout without water breaks, according to Fox 4 News.
She said her son has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis — the breakdown of muscle tissue that can release harmful proteins into the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney damage or failure.
It is unclear what the other seven students were diagnosed with. None of the players’ identities have been released.
Rockwall-Heath High School’s head football coach John Harrell has been placed on administrative leave after Friday’s practice session
Eight soccer players were hospitalized after being forced to do 300 to 400 push-ups in an hour. Parents claim the students were forced to complete the strenuous workout with breaks
Addressing the situation on Monday, Principal Todd Bradford wrote in a letter to parents of student athletes: “On Monday 9th January 2023, several parents reported that their students subsequently required medical attention and in some cases hospitalisation. Please note that the district took immediate action to address the situation and support our students.’
It also advised parents to inform their students to see the coach if they find they “can’t bend or straighten their arms, can’t raise their arms overhead, dark urine (tea or cola color ) and have sharp arm pains”. and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion or lethargy.
“Student safety is a top priority for Rockwall IDS and we will continue to take prompt and appropriate action in the best interests of our students as we address this situation,” the letter reads.
The Dallas-based school has also launched a third-party investigation into the incident and said students who attended classes Monday completed a light, non-strenuous workout.
Despite the terrifying situation, some players defended Harrell, saying he wasn’t trying to harm the students but was trying to teach them discipline.
The Dallas-based school has launched an investigation into the incident and has warned students to see the school’s coach if they have trouble straightening or raising their arms or if they have had dark-colored urine
Player Barry Luff, who was at practice, told Fox 4 News: “He treated us with nothing but respect and he loves each and every one of us as his own.”
Luff also told the WFAA that Harrell was at the hospital “all night with these guys” to make sure they were okay.
“He would never make us do a workout because he thought it would put either of us at risk,” he told the outlet.
His mother also defended the coach, saying she would have “been the first person in the principal’s office” if she thought anything was wrong.
Harrell was promoted to head coach in January 2022 and has been with the school since 2019.
What is rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis is a rare condition that occurs after a muscle injury that has led to muscle breakdown.
It can be a life-threatening condition, and athletes, firefighters, and military personnel are at increased risk.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, after overexerting the muscle, patients can develop rhabdomyolysis, which can cause muscle cells to break down. This can cause myoglobin, a protein, to be released into the bloodstream.
The kidneys help remove the protein from the bloodstream through urine, but in large amounts it can cause kidney damage or failure.
The condition affects about 26,000 people annually and symptoms include muscle swelling, muscle weakness or tenderness, and dark urine. Some also experience dehydration, nausea, or loss of consciousness.
Symptoms usually don’t appear until about 24 hours after exercise.
The condition has been observed on several college football teams.
In 2011, the Iowa team hospitalized 13 players after a grueling off-season workout. One of the players sued and won a $15,000 settlement.
In 2017, three Oregon players were hospitalized, one with rhabdomyolysis, after a military-style workout routine in which players did push-ups, squats, sit-ups and plans for up to an hour.
Offensive lineman Doug Brenner sued the NCAA for $100 million in April 2022 after developing the disease and suffering permanent kidney damage. His life expectancy has been reduced by 10 years, according to the Dallas Morning News.
He lost the lawsuit but won a $500,000 settlement with the school.
Other sports that see the condition more often are marathon runners and those who take spinning classes.
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