by Irvin Muchnick
I’ve referred to the approximately 20 minutes of dilly-dallying by the Garden City (Kansas) Community College coaches and trainers in the Braeden Bradforth death — led by head coach Jeff “Act of God” Sims, before he eased on down the road to Missouri Southern State University.
Make that 25 minutes. Roxana Hegeman of the Associated Press submitted an open records request that has yielded an August 31, 2018, email by assistant coach Caleb Young, describing the August 1 death incident. This is the basis of showing what widening news accounts (including at Deadspin) call the “chaos” of the scene. See https://www.newsday.com/sports/college/apnewsbreak-emails-show-chaos-before-kansas-player-s-death-1.32054524.
Young’s email itself can be viewed at http://muchnick.net/calebyoung.pdf. Note that this memo, composed 30 days after Bradforth collapsed and died from exertional heat stroke (EHS), is still nothing close to contemporaneous. Remember, too, that the college also claims the relevant campus surveillance video got routinely overwritten — perhaps because you can’t preserve everything, and we all know that 19-year-old football players die all the time.
In addition to its contribution to the timeline, the Young account adds to our knowledge of the water poured over Bradforth before the 911 call. Yet Sims succeeded in hoodwinking the media into a first-day story that the newly transplanted New Jerseyan had suffered a heart attack caused by a blood clot. The Finney County coroner would find that it was EHS. Experts say fatal EHS is inexcusable.
Congressman Chris Smith, the New Jersey Republican who has been leading the bipartisan call by the state’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation for a truly independent investigation, said, “I urge the college to be open and forthcoming without awaiting additional [open records] requests. This may just be the tip of the iceberg.”
He’s got that right.
Complete chronological headline links to Concussion Inc.’s coverage of the Braeden Bradforth story are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=13441.