Correction: Football Coaches Suspension story
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — In a story Aug. 31 about discipline following a swimming accident at a team-building exercise that sent three football players to the hospital, The Associated Press reported erroneously that six assistant football coaches were suspended. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District suspended seven assistant coaches.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Alaska school district suspends 7 football assistant coaches
Seven Alaska high school football assistant coaches were suspended following a swimming accident that hospitalized three student-athletes
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Seven Alaska high school football assistant coaches have been suspended following a swimming accident that hospitalized three student-athletes, officials said.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District upheld its decision to suspend seven West Valley assistant football coaches despite public comments made during a school board meeting Thursday, The Daily News-Miner reported Friday.
“We appreciate the heartfelt comments from students, parents and coaches,” school board president Wendy Dominique said. “We have to consider all the facts, and the board members present unanimously support the decisions made by the superintendent. Our focus is on the students’ safety, and we’re committed to their safety and well-being.”
All seven assistant coaches were suspended for two years after three athletes were rescued from the bottom of the University of Fairbanks swimming pool July 26, officials said. The football team rented the pool for a conditioning session and witnesses reported the students sank while treading water.
Head coach Roy Hessner stepped down following the accident.
“As we continue the review of this matter, we have directed the superintendent to conduct a thorough review of preseason activities,” Dominique said.
Thursday’s meeting occurred two weeks after a team manager and nine players from the West Valley football team hand-delivered a petition to the superintendent’s office to have the coaches reinstated, officials said.
“The action that the superintendent has taken is wrong,” said Helen Conwell, the mother of one of the coaches and grandmother of two of the athletes. These coaches “have dedicated their time and lives to children in our community to excel in a sports program that they love.”