by Irvin Muchnick
I just opened my email inbox to find a message from Jeff Sims, head football coach of the Garden City Community College Broncbusters out of Kansas.
As I told Sims in my quick reply, I appreciated hearing from him. But I also have to note that I now have been favored with one more direct communication from him than has the mother of Braeden Bradforth, the 19-year-old Garden City player who died after practice on August 1 from what the Finney County coroner yesterday officially ruled to be “exertional heat stroke.”
Sims suggested early on that the cause of death was a blood clot, and he insisted that it was “not football-related.” In his email today, the coach ignored the forensic pathology findings while doubling down on the not-football-related part. Here’s the full text:
If you would like to set up an interview with me anytime after Dec 5th, I would be available for comment.
While newspaper headlines may lead some to believe that Braedens Death had a connection with football or practice, it did not. It was unfortunate timing but truly is there ever a time that we expect the passing of a young man. Braeden passed away the evening after practice and we have been assured it was something that was out of our control. We all miss Braeden, GOD has his timing. Thank you
Sims was following up on an email to me from Evan J. Jewsbury, the chief human resources officer of Missouri Southern State University, where Sims has been hired to coach next. My query to Jewsbury, on which Sims had been copied, asked whether the Bradforth death was part of the vetting and interview process for Sims. Jewsbury said, “On behalf of the University, since your questions pertain to personnel related information which is kept confidential, as standard practice, the University will not be releasing or commenting on the interview questions or vetting process.”
Kickoff of the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game between Garden City and East Mississippi is 8:00 eastern time. Can we expect the CBS Sports network cablecast to cover Bradforth’s death? I asked CBS Sports media relations.
Spokesperson Harrison Raboy emailed me back: “CBS Sports is not producing this game. The game is being produced by Kitay Productions.” Raboy gave me contact information for Kitay Productions (which, as of the time of publication of this article, has not responded to my query)..
I also persisted with CBS Sports’ Raboy. “Are you saying that if Kitay Productions tonight stages over your airwaves a version of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds hoax, CBS will have no responsibility for it?”
No reply to that one, either.
Here are complete headline links to our Braeden Bradforth coverage:
Published August 3rd, 2018
Published August 9th, 2018
Published November 14th, 2018