by Irvin Muchnick
Video of the KSN-TV Wichita news report on the autopsy finding of exertional heat stroke (EHS) in the August football conditioning death of Garden City Community College’s Braeden Bradforth is now live at https://www.ksn.com/news/kansas/autopsy-shows-garden-city-community-college-football-player-died-of-heat-stroke/1641182865.
Today’s statement by the college, reproduced in our previous post, announces “an internal review .. by GCCC administrators.” The last sentence of the statement adds the adjective “ongoing” review, which fudges the matter of when an actual report will be delivered. The stated intent “to ensure that the college can transparently inform the community, the media, and — most importantly — Braeden’s family of the accurate facts and circumstances surrounding Braeden’s death” suggests, but doesn’t clarify, that this will be all be in the form of a public document.
Right now, let us reemphasize that this incident wasn’t just tragic; it was reckless and negligent. There isn’t a credible sports medicine expert, nor has there been one for many years, who believes there is an excuse for an EHS fatality. As was shown in the recent HBO Real Sports report on the death earlier this year of Maryland’s Jordan McNair, all the infrastructure that’s required to keep a heat stroke episode from turning frighteningly dire, across a considerable time period, is a tub of ice. The loss of life in Garden City was strictly a software problem — that software being the indifference-to-danger mentality of then head coach Jeff Sims and his staff. (Sims now has the same job at Missouri Southern State University.)
Sims also is the party who put out the irresponsible and inaccurate first-day talking point that Bradforth had been felled by a blood clot. This is why I say the charge of GCCC administrators (at least until such time as there’s enough pressure to force a truly independent investigation by outsiders) is twofold.
First: What happened to Braeden on the field that day and in the immediate practice aftermath?
Second: What exactly is the clinical and rhetorical provenance of Sims’s wild “blood clot” theory of cause of death? Apparently, this life-and-death play-action fake was enough to send the media scurrying back to writing about X’s and O’s for next Saturday, even though the theory didn’t have a shred of backup or legitimacy.
On this last point, Concussion Inc. has acquired a copy of the St. Catherine-Garden City Hospital records of Bradforth’s emergency care on that fatal night. More tomorrow.
DEATH OF BRAEDEN BRADFORTH — CHRONOLOGICAL HEADLINE LINKS