Scathing Accusations of a Coach


If you have followed the news about concussions you would have certainly notices a case of a coach being investigated about his handling of concussions and general mistreatment of players.  You would also know that the investigation of this Pittsburgh area coach found no wrong-doing, and retained his position.

The exact specifics were not privy to public information, that was until now;

In August, the trainers said, two players suffered concussions. Both returned to the sidelines to watch the team while wearing sunglasses and hats to protect them from sunlight, which can aggravate concussion symptoms.

Mr. Traber, 26, of Bridgeville, said Mr. Piccinini told the players “not to wear sunglasses on his field.”

“He kept saying … that, ‘He doesn’t have a concussion. He needs to get back on the field.’ He kept pressuring us to push up the date of his appointment with UPMC to be ready for the initial scrimmage,” Mr. Traber said.

Matt Bianco, father of one player, said he became concerned when other parents told him their children were not reporting injuries because they were being “belittled” by the coach.

Mr. Bianco said his son told him he did not remove his hat or sunglasses that day, but he later developed an arm hematoma and went to the hospital because he had left it untreated.

The teen was afraid to report the injury for fear of Mr. Piccinini’s reaction, Mr. Bianco said.

According the Post-Gazette’s authors, Jonathan D. Silver and Janice Crompton some of the information did not come forward until after the investigation.  Not only was it the mishandling of the concussion and other injuries it was the general demeanor of the coach towards the injured players.

This type of coaching is not to unfamiliar and in a vacuum it seems awful.  There are always two sides to the story, the main issue that I see is the disregard of the athletic trainer.  If they are going on record with the accusations then I firmly believe that there is some traction to this issue;

On Aug. 22, Mr. Traber sent a text message to Peters athletic director Brian Geyer that read: “I feel like everytime [sic] an athlete from football comes to me for anything, and if I have to refer to a physician or someone else. Pic always finds a way to question what I’m doing”

The AT’s don’t coach the sport, so why should the coach be providing hokey medical advice?

It is an interesting situation, one that we should all be aware of.

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5 thoughts on “Scathing Accusations of a Coach

  1. joe bloggs February 27, 2012 / 11:25

    Of course, coaches, who in most cases are glorified gym teachers, berate members of the allied medical professions, ATCs.

    Enough with the oracular athletic coaches. I thought that would die with the PSU disaster.

    It is a football not the Marines. If this guy us so tough, let him be a DI at Paris Island barring that he needs to have leash put on him.

    People wonder why this is going to end up in court and likely end football as we know it. It is fools like this coach who aren’t interested in medical opinions or science offered by qualified parties but instead on relies on his years experience getting away with damaging players, scot-free.

  2. E Nussbaum February 27, 2012 / 11:35

    So what details support the actions of the coach in this case? Am I missing something? Why is this coach allowed to maintain his position? With all the anti bullying stuff that goes on in schools now, with the facts presented, this could VERY EASILY considered harrassment, intimidation or bullying. We must be missing something from this story. Either the school board has no spine and doesn’t really care about the health and well being of the students, the coach has some compromising pictures of the school board president or we don’t have all the facts.

    My suspicion is that had this coach been removed because of the reported cases, this incident would have led to the reporting of other coaches who do the same thing every day. The bottom line is that these issues need to be reported and properly dealt with. It is about student athlete safety.

  3. Dorothy Bedford February 27, 2012 / 14:15

    Haven’t we all heard of coaches like this? That’s why parents and students also need to know how concussions need to be handled, and stand strong with ATCs. In my own district, where I watch over this from the Board of Ed., I heard from a mother of a student wrestler in January, after her son developed delayed concussion symptoms at home (i.e. away from the ATC). He insisted on going to school the next day – as it turned out, because he was afraid of the coach’s reaction. Fortunately, the mom figured this out fast and went to the school “to adjust the coach’s attitude,” and confer with the ATC. She also reported it to me so I could work the chain the other direction. The student made it to the doctor later that afternoon. He was put on home rest, which lasted five days, until cleared to return to school. So, concussion awareness education is doing what it is supposed to do: backing up the ATC (who can’t be everywhere at once, 24 hours a day) and protecting the students.

  4. L. Olson February 27, 2012 / 21:25

    In my son’s case, the on site ATC wasn’t any better. After my son was thrown on his head in a wrestling match, the ATC asked him how many fingers he was holding up and whether he wanted to keep wrestling. Duh, he was a 14 year old boy…what did you think he would say? The ref finally called the match after he sustained two more blows to the head. No one (no coach, no ATC) checked on him for the next two hours while the meet continued until he finally called us with slurred speech and multiple other symptoms. A year later he still struggles everyday. Sorry, but I don’t trust the “high school sports establishment” period.

  5. Billy March 1, 2012 / 10:24

    My high school coach would tell us not to come off the field unless we had a bone sticking out. He also liked to say “Are you hurt or injuried? If you’re injuried you can’t play, if you’re hurt get back out there.” This was the 80’s. I wish we knew back then what we know now.

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