Coach’s case could set precedence beyond football

Former Pleasure Ridge Park coach Jason Stinson was arraigned Monday, days after he was indicted on reckless homicide charges.

Stinson pleaded not guilty.

He was indicted in the death of 15-year-old Max Gilpin. Gilpin collapsed during practice last August and died three days later.

"I lost one of my boys," Stinson told a crowd gathered in front of his Kentucky home over the weekend. "A boy that I loved and a boy that I cared for and a boy that meant the world to me. That's the thing that people forget."

Prosecutors in the case say they have witnesses that claim Stinson denied Gilpin water. The player's body temperature reportedly reached 107 degrees.

Now the coach could face jail time.

"I really see this going to the Supreme Court of the land," Tyler ISD athletic director Danny Long said.  Long said the precedence set in Stinson's case could mean more restrictions on athletes and coaches.

"We're all playing a wait and see on this situation," he said, "but there's no question that it could be devastating to all extra-curricular activities. It's not just football. Kids in the band get hot, cheerleaders get hot."

Long said the UIL and TISD require coaches be trained in what to look for with heat related illness.

"The best thing is being preventative," Long said. "Anytime a child wants a drink of water they get a drink of water. Anytime."

Coach Jay Brown with Texas College said Stinson's case is a wake up call.

"It's important that coaches know their players," Brown said. "Not just how they perform on the field, but that also helps in determining if a kid is holding back on an injury."

Brown said coaches could proceed with more caution.

"Something like this is upheld, it would make coaches a little more apprehensive in pushing a team or an individual a little bit," he said.

As the country watches Stinson's case, coaches said in the end, no one really wins.

"The tragedy in all of this," Danny Long said, "is losing a child."