Coaching Staff Cleared from Wrongdoing in Students Death

School board officials in a western Kentucky county said they have cleared a high school football coaching staff of any wrongdoing in the death of a 16-year-old player.

Ryan Owens collapsed and died shortly after practice at Henderson County High School on July 19.

A state medical examiner found that Owens suffered from a heart condition that was exacerbated by the heat.

School board officials said Tuesday that it reached a "unanimous consensus" that there were not "acts or omissions" by members of the football staff, echoing the findings a report by the board released a week ago.

But they said they were "disturbed" the staff didn't obtain a heat index reading until after practice on the day Owens died.

School Board Chairman Mike Waller said only the team's athletic trainer had an instrument that can measure the heat index, and he wasn't at practice the day Owens died.

Waller said since Owens' death, each of the head coaches for fall sports have been given one of the instruments, called a psychrometer.

The school board's comments Tuesday were one week after an
attorney hired by the school system released his findings in a
review of Owens' death.

The report by Owensboro attorney Bill Wilson said the staff did nothing to contribute to Owens' death.
Information from: The Gleaner,

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)