‘Justice For Braeden Bradforth’ Campaigners Need to Follow Up on Congressman Chris Smith’s Pressure on Garden City Community College President Ryan Ruda — And Others

Published April 21st, 2019, Uncategorized

PREVIOUSLY:

 

Not So Fast: Garden City Community College President Has Yet to Establish Any Basis For Braeden Bradforth’s Mother to Meet With Him Published April 18th, 2019

DEATH OF BRAEDEN BRADFORTH — CHRONOLOGICAL HEADLINE LINKS: https://concussioninc.net/?p=13441

 

 

by Irvin Muchnick

 

We’ve been talking about how a supposed upcoming meeting in Kansas between the president of Garden City Community College, Ryan Ruda, and Braeden Bradforth’s grieving mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram, could prove to be the emptiest of gestures.

Right now two members of the U.S. Congress from New Jersey — Chris Smith of Atkins-Ingram’s Fourth District and Frank Pallone of the Sixth District — are on her side. On their face, Pallone is the one with more clout: he is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he has challenged the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to improve public information and prevention of the kind of completely avoidable exertional heat stroke deaths that last year struck down Jordan McNair at the University of Maryland, prior to Bradforth at Garden City CC. (They were the 35th and 36th documented fatalities this century in college football team conditioning sessions.)

I’ll have more to say soon about the limits of addressing the problem at the macro level of the CDC, which — like the National Institutes of Health — shamelessly receives subsidies from the National Football League and is in thrall to the mission of “fixing” the sport of football, to the detriment of its public health purpose. For example, the CDC is in bed with the NFL, and acknowledges that it takes money from the league, for a public education program called “Heads Up.” Football critics, including myself, say Heads Up is a lot of malarkey, since such “brain injury awareness” schemes start from the false premise that technical adjustments can significantly ameliorate the sport’s fundamental health menace. That menace can and should be stated bluntly: Speedy collisions, which are essential to every play of every game of this blood sport, cause cumulative brain damage, from Pop Warner leagues through the pros, and “Heads Up” bromides are meaningless in real time.

Back to Congressman Smith. I would be disappointed if Smith were aggressively pushing Atkins-Smith to meet with Garden City’s Ruda, because I fear that the end result could be a headline with no substance behind it — the kind that ultimately drains the energy of a public pressure campaign instead of fueling it. A photo of Ruda sitting next to Atkins-Ingram and whispering secret nothings to her is not what is needed now. What is needed is a commitment by the college to public release of its alleged internal review of exactly what happened on August 1, 2018, when then head football coach Jeff Sims — now at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin — drove the 19-year-old Bradforth to his grave. As the congressman has noted, we also need Garden City to establish an outside investigation of the incident by independent experts.

Fortunately, Smith recognized that it is not Garden City Community College alone that is responsible for an accounting of Bradforth’s death. The congressman also addressed versions of his Ruda letter to various educational and sports bodies with supervisory or oversight or sanctioning roles. At http://muchnick.net/congressmansmithletters.pdf, we have uploaded the complete 39-page package. Here is the full contact information for readers interested in active follow-up:

 

Garden City Community College

President Ryan Ruda

801 Campus Dr.

Garden City, KS 67846

email: ryan.ruda@gcccks.edu

 

Colin Lamb, athletic director: colin.lamb@gcccks.edu

Blake Wasinger, chair of the Board of Trustees: blake.wasinger@gcccks.edu

Terri Worf, vice chair of the trustees: terri.worf@gcccks.edu

Steve Martinez, trustee: steve.martinez@gcccks.edu

Leonard Hitz, trustee: leonard.hitz@gcccks.edu

Merilyn Douglass, trustee: merilyn.douglass@gcccks.edu

Jeff Crist, clerk of the trustees: jeff.crist@gcccks.edu

 

Mayor Dan Frankhauser of Garden City, Kansas

301 N. 8th St.

Garden City, KS 67846

email: dfrankhauser@gmail.com

 

City Commission of Garden City, Kansas

Troy Unruh, commissioner: troy.unruh@gardencityks.us

Shannon L. Dick, commissioner: shannon.dick@gardencityks.us

Roy Cessna, commissioner: rcessna@gckschools.com

Lindsay J. Burnes, commissioner: lindsay.burnes@gardencityks.us

 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

300 SW 10th Ave., Suite 241S

Topeka, KS 66612

 

Kansas Board of Regents

Blake Flanders, president and CEO

1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 520

Topeka, KS 66612

email: scholars@ksbor.org

 

At same postal and email addresses:

Dennis A. Mullen, chair

Shane Bangerter, vice chair

 

Kansas Association of Community Colleges

Executive Director Linda Fund

700 SW Jackson St., Suite 1000

Topeka, KS 66603

email: lfund@kacct.org

 

National Junior College Athletic Association

Executive Director Chris Parker

8801 JM Keynes Dr., Suite 450

Charlotte, NC 28262

email: cparker@njcaa.org

 

Men’s Region 6 Director

Mike Saddler: mike.saddler@colbycc.edu

 

Also, the group’s Football Coaches Association:

Joe Osovet: coachosovet@asa.edu

James Forchtner: jamesf@nmmi.edu

Rion Rhoades: rrhoades@hutchee.edu

Scott Strohmeier: sstrohmeier@iwcc.edu

 

Also, the group’s Athletic Trainers, Safety & Health Council Committee:

Loreto Jackson: lmjackso@bhcc.mass.edu

George Sanders: gsanders@fsw.edu

Donna Sledge: dsledge@abac.edu

Kyle Roepnack: kyle.roepnack@herkimer.edu

Kerri Reeves: kreeves@marionmilitary.edu

Chris Murphy: camurphy@pima.edu

Nate Kelley: nate.kelley@njc.edu

Jeff Fluty: fluty@cowley.edu