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Football coach's trial set to start

By Brett Barrouquere
The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE — After two-plus hours of practice, Pleasure Ridge Park football coach David Jason Stinson had seen enough of players goofing off.

Stinson, a first-year head coach at the suburban Louisville high school, ordered the group of about 100 players to run a series of sprints, known as "gassers," until someone quit the team.

The players started running. Five got sick and left the field, two eventually quit the team and, as practice finished on Aug. 20, 2008, 15-year-old sophomore offensive lineman Max Gilpin collapsed. He died three days later at a Louisville hospital.

Accounts of that day reveal a football practice where most players didn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary — until the end.

Stinson is scheduled to go on trial Monday on a charge of reckless homicide, in a case that many observers say could be the first time a coach has faced criminal charges in a player's on-field death. On Aug. 11, a grand jury added a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment against the coach. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges, which will be part of the same trial.

Stinson's attorneys will be defending against two accusations — that he should have foreseen the practice could have resulted in a death, and that the way he ran practice was dangerous, even if no one had been seriously hurt because of it.


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