Two years to the day after Frostburg State University football player Derek Sheely sustained a fatal head injury during practice, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA, coach Tom Rogish and several others.
Sheely collapsed following a preseason drill at the Division III school in western Maryland and died six days later on Aug. 28, 2011.
“Utter incompetence, egregious misconduct, false hope and a reckless disregard for player health and safety led to the tragic death of Derek Sheely,” the 63-page complaint obtained by The Washington Times said.
Also named in the lawsuit filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court are Frostburg running backs coach Jamie Schumacher, assistant athletic trainer Michael Sweitzer Jr. and helmet manufacturer Schutt Sports.
Sheely’s parents, Kenneth and Kristin, and sister, Keyton, live in Germantown. They’re all plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“It is inconceivable to us how, with all the attention on concussions, there is still no unified enforcement to prevent dangerous drills, stop false safety claims or ensure proper medical attention to concussed athletes,” the family said in a statement released to The Times. “We are haunted by the knowledge that Derek’s death was preventable and we feel an obligation to share lessons that could prevent other children from suffering Derek’s fate.”
Derek Sheely Fdtn @DerekSheelyFdtn 2h2 hours ago
Thank you @gazette_net for sharing our beloved son's story. Words cannot express our gratitude for your support.
THIS KID DROPPED DEAD ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD WHILE WEARING THE MOST ADVANCED ANTI-CONCUSSION HELMET AVAILABLE