If there were any questions about the significance of making sure all players pass their physicals before taking the field, they were answered resoundingly on Tuesday, when a prominent Georgia high school football coach resigned amidst an investigation into whether or not he allowed players on his team to take place in practices before they had turned in an official physical examination.
The resignation of Warren County (Ga.) High coach Marleau Blount was first reported by Augusta CBS affiliate WRDW, with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Todd Holcomb confirming the coach's departure shortly thereafter.
It's unclear whether Holcomb resigned out of his own initiative or if he was essentially forced out by the Warren County board of education in an attempt to limit the possibility of further punishment because of the violation.
WRDW reported that Blount officially tendered his resignation on Friday, after the school board learned that players had practiced without fulfilling their obligations in receiving a physical exam, with district Superintendent Carole Jean Carey reporting the violation to the Georgia High School Association immediately.
Carey also quickly appointed Warren County defensive coordinator David Daniels as the program's new head coach, and told WRDW that the school would face a fine for the infraction, but should avoid further discipline.
Considering the fact that all those consequences were the result of a handful of students turning in a tardy physical, that's no small matter.
Still, one can understand why the Warren County School District acted so swiftly, and severely. With constant concern about head trauma, heat-related injury and death and undiagnosed heart illness, letting any athletes compete without passing a thorough medical check is a dangerous move.
In this case, it appears that it was so dangerous is cost one coach who had been with his school's football program for 12 years as an assistant or head man the job he had worked so long and hard to earn.