The parents of Derek Sheely, the 22-year-old football player at Frostburg University who died after enduring multiple head injuries during practice, has filed a lawsuit claiming “reckless disregard for player health and safety” led to Sheely’s death, several news outlets have reported.
Sheely, a senior fullback at Frostburg and a graduate of Northwest High Schoolin Germantown, died from head injuries in 2011, six days after he collapsed during pre-season drills.
Frostburg running back coach Jaime Schumacher and assistant athletic trainer Michael Sweitzer Jr. are named in the lawsuit, according to The Washington Times, which broke the story last week.
Deadspin has posted a copy of the complaint on its website.
Citing the lawsuit, the sports blog reports that the players were running two-a-day practices, including a drill in which two players would line up three yards apart and crash into each other.
According to several news accounts, on Aug. 22, 2011, Sheely complained of having a headache and feeling unwell. The suit alleges that Schumacher told Sheely: “Stop your bitching and moaning and quit acting like a [weakling] and get back out there .…”
Sheely collapsed during practice. He died days later at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Patch has reported.
Helmet manufacturer Schutt Sports and the NCAA are also named in the lawsuit.
In a statement released to The Baltimore Sun and other news outlets, Sheely’s family members said they were still haunted “by the knowledge that Derek’s death was preventable.”
Since Sheely’s death, his parents, Kristen and Ken Sheely, have been advocating for better sports safety and the education of young football players on how to recognize the signs of a brain injury.
They founded the Derek Sheely Foundation and have been pressing the state for changes to protect student athletes.
Last year, Northwest held a special dedication ceremony in honor of Sheely, who graduated from Northwest in 2007 and wore No. 40 for the Jaguars.