Jeff Eisenberg

Division II coach suspended for assaulting player in practice

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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At a time when the rules governing how coaches discipline their players have become more strict than ever, the coach of a Division II school in Philadelphia doesn't appear to have received the message.

Holy Family University's John O'Connor, a former assistant coach at Georgia Tech, has been suspended after a player filed a police report alleging that he had been assaulted during practice last month.

WATCH FOOTAGE OF THE INCIDENT HERE

The above video obtained by MyFoxPhilly.com shows footage of O'Connor knocking sophomore Matt Kravchuk to the ground during a rebounding drill with a forearm shiver to the chest. O'Connor then kicks Kravchuk as he lay on the ground and screams at him to "get up."

When a dazed and bleeding Kravchuk walks toward the end of the line, O'Connor berates him again, yelling "Got a little blood on ya? Good." Finally O'Connor ends the incident moments later by kicking Kravchuk out of practice.

Although the line between a tough coach and an abusive one has receded so far the past few decades that many believe today's athletes are coddled far too much, there should be little argument that O'Connor has gone too far here. Physical abuse of this nature should be grounds for termination, especially if there's a history of similar behavior.

What's most appalling in this case is that O'Connor was allowed to coach five games after the incident before Holy Family University issued any penalty. Only once Kravchuk filed a police report and word of the altercation leaked to the media did the school then finally take action.

(Thanks, Ballin is a Habit)

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