Controversy Stirs as Youth Football Coach Is Suspended for Reinserting Player

Oct 13, 2017

A Worcester, Mass. youth football coach, who also happens to be a personal injury lawyer, has been suspended after allegedly reinserting a player who had suffered a head injury back in a game even though he had not been cleared by EMTs.
And the coach is not happy about it.
James G. Ellis, who coaches the Shrewsbury Patriot’s Fifth Grade team, was suspended for four games until Oct. 9, after he put Tyler Santiago back into a game against a team from Leominster, Mass. Besides the punishment of Ellis, the Central Massachusetts Youth Football and Cheer Conference (CMYFCC) also placed the Shrewsbury American Youth Football Association on probation for the remainder of the season.
Paul Dauderis, president of the CMYFCC, told the media that the association was punished because it did not have a protocol in place to ensure EMT/coach communications about injured players.
Meanwhile, the suspension of Ellis was less cut and dried. Ellis told the media that the player left with an injury early in the game and was treated by an EMT, then showed up in the fourth quarter with his helmet on and mouth piece in place and said he was ready to go back into the game. Ellis claimed the boy told him he had been cleared to go back into the game and that he felt good.
Ellis said that he approached the EMT after the game, who told him that he was sorry that he had forgotten to inform him of his decision to remove the player from the game. Dauderis said it should never have come to that, that the coach should have sought out the EMT before reinserting Santiago in the game.
The mother, meanwhile, sought to blame the EMT
“The EMT never once approached any of the coaches nor myself and said Tyler is no longer allowed to go back … that he was hurt,” Ms. Santiago told the media. “The game ended. We celebrated the victory. We went home. Tyler is fine.”
She further said that she was not happy that Ellis had been suspended. “I feel terribly sorry for him,” she told the media. “He’s an amazing coach. He’s been coaching my son the past three years. You couldn’t ask for a better coach.”
Dauderis addressed the issue involving the EMT by noting that a protocol for EMT and head coach communication has been established. EMTs now are also required to cross out the name of any player ruled out off the minimum play sheet, note the time of the game, type of injury and sign the sheet, Dauderis told the media.


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