East Meadow (N.Y.) High football coach cut senior linebacker and fullback Billy Andrle two days after the two-way standout suffered a broken wrist and then told the rest of his team that Andrle quit on them, the teen's family alleged in a lawsuit.
"We want people to know that he did not quit the team," Billy's mother, Donna Andrle, told Newsday. "He was told to clean out his locker. ... Billy asked if he could still be with the team on the sidelines like the other injured players and he was told no."
An All-State player as a junior, Andrle broke his right wrist two days before his senior season was set to begin in August, but still wanted to play with a protective cast. For fear of permanent damage, his mother prevented him from doing so, she told Newsday.
When he explained his dilemma to Jets coach Vinny Mascia, Andrle was asked to pack his bags, he told the paper. As a result, the Andrle family hired attorney Tom Liotti.
"He was not treated with the honor and respect that a top athlete deserves," Liotti told reporters gathered for a news conference. "It's not the way you treat a star. This damages his reputation and prospects for college. They called him a quitter."
Andrle rushed for 1,307 yards and 23 touchdowns on 163 carries out of the backfield last season. Defensively, he amassed 49 tackles (9 for losses) and 4.5 sacks.
On Twitter, Andrle first addressed his removal from the team a month after surgery.
Still kinda shocked that I got kicked off of the football team
— Billy Andrle (@BillyAndrle) September 26, 2013
Shortly after the Andrle family took their story to multiple media outlets, East Meadow superintendent of schools Louis DeAngelo issued the following statement to Newsday.
"Vincent Mascia was informed that Billy Andrle had been medically cleared to play football. However, Billy's parents indicated that they did not want him to play due to the risk of further injury. The allegations that Billy was thrown off the team are false. If Billy and his parents change their minds, the district would certainly welcome him back to the playing field."