Titled "Collapse and Confusion: The Death of a Juco Football Player," the article paints a portrait of a stern taskmaster coach who was putting his players through a series of sprints, but not allowing them to take water breaks. Officials at Garden City Community College have disputed previous similar accusations, but as the article notes, have authorized an independent investigation into the death of 6-4, 300 pound defensive lineman Braeden Bradforth.
Head coach Jeff Sims initially told the media that Bradforth had likely died from a blood clotting disorder, but months later, an autopsy found the cause of death to be exertional heat stroke. As (Bradforth's mother Joanne) Atkins-Ingram dug deeper, players told her they had had no water breaks during that conditioning test, that Bradforth was struggling and that Sims taunted Bradforth during the workout that pushed him to heat stroke.Atkins-Ingram has named Sims, other Garden City coaches and the school among the defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A report from emergency personnel obtained by Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request indicates that Braeforth did not follow other players to a team meeting and when the meeting broke up, they discovered him on the ground moanting and in obvious distress.
Players called an assistant coach over. The coach called Sims to ask him what to do, according to the report and Sims told him to call the trainer, who had left the campus. By the time, emergency personnel were finally called and arrived, it had been 48 minutes since Braeforth had been found.
Braeden Braeforth was pronounced dead 33 minutes later.
This is Sims' first year at Missouri Southern.