Stage parents are the worst.

I think appalling is the word I’m looking for here.

That’s certainly the case surrounding Shawn Nieto, the starting running back for Cleveland High School in New Mexico. As reported by the Rio Rancho Observer and Albuquerque Journal, Nieto suffered an expected concussion in his team’s state semifinal victory against Mayfield; the injury was diagnosed by the team’s medical trainer after examining the running back. By state regulation, that concussion required Nieto to sit out for at least seven days, a term that made him ineligible for Cleveland’s state final against Eldorado.

Yet Nieto was allowed to play in the final game of his junior season because his parents filed a temporary restraining order in a local court, barring his school from implementing New Mexico House Bill 101, which establishes the state’s concussion protocol.

“Once our trainer (Jeff Archuleta) identified the concussion, I backed him 100 percent,” Rio Rancho athletic director Bruce Carver told the Observer. “The parents took it to court on Friday and got a TRO; the judge ruled he could play. We were given a court order that the district was not to interfere.

“Our superintendent and I agreed that a judge’s ruling over-rules a director’s director. We told (coach Heath Ridenour) to play Nieto if he wanted to … totally his decision.”

I have no idea if this kid’s talented enough to play college ball, but if I were a college coach, there is no way I’d touch him with a ten-foot pole.  His parents seem like real pips.

As it turns out, the court’s decision was predicated largely on a medical evaluation by Dr. Karen Ortiz, who saw Nieto three days after the semifinal game and found no direct proof of any head injury. However, in the days since that ruling was provided to the courts, Ortiz has rescinded her own opinion, citing a lack of prior information in ruling that Nieto could safely return to competition.

“Had I understood that there was a loss of consciousness, I would have never provided medical clearance,” Ortiz wrote to in a letter to Rio Rancho Public Schools and the NMAA. “Allowing Mr. Shawn Nieto to return to play at this time may result in a wide range of long-term neuropsychologic disorders as well as possible catastrophic brain injury, unfortunately.”

To withhold medical evidence so your child can play… you’ve got to be pretty fixated on his sporting career to do that.  Being a little sociopathic probably wouldn’t hurt, either.  Sheesh.

(h/t)

22 Comments

Filed under The Body Is A Temple

22 responses to “Stage parents are the worst.

  1. 92 grad

    I truly hope that cases like this become more and more public, giving way to allowing coaches or admins to have the power to make the right call without fear of losing their jobs, careers, or litigation. I taught middle school for 6 years, the things I witnessed from all socio-economic backgrounds involving these “travel clubs”, be it soccer, baseball, football, in the way that children are pressed so hard to compete is appalling. I don’t believe I ever heard a case like this, but I have seen kids completely drained from year round private coaching, competitions, training, and of course tutoring.

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  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I wonder how the coach will handle this.

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    • Dolly Llama

      It’s in the link. Sounds like the coach did the right thing.

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    • Macallanlover

      Agree, although it seems like a no-brainer to me, being ruled legally able too play does not trump the medical advice. If his team doctor/trainer feels there is any danger, I would take his helmet and assign an assistant to keep an eye on him so he never gets on the field for a single play. Seven days seems a minimal time to withhold him from play if he lost consciousness in the last game.

      There is plenty of film on his playing ability at this point, not playing this game will not impact his attractiveness to college programs. It is also obvious that the superintendent does not support a judge overruling the policy, my bet is the coach will do the right thing and bench him.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Nieto was allowed to suit up and was inserted for one play.”

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  3. It sounds like the coach did the right thing in a bad situation. Why the courts felt the need to insert itself into a decision like this is ridiculous. Why the parents decided to file this action is frivolous.

    As the coach, I don’t even think I would have put the kid in for the 1 play unless it had been a kneel-down at the end of a half.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      They won the state championship. I don’t know what his lone play was but you’re probably right. Just down it.

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      • Dolly Llama

        He got to say he played in the championship game. Mission accomplished. Otherwise, I think the Senator hit the nail on the head: Regardless of whether this kid has next-level talent or not, any college program in any sport would be foolish as hell to touch him given his folks.

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        • @Dolly Llama: This is where I would be all Nick Saban on recruiting the kid(if deserved to be recruited). To parents: I run this place, not you, now get your ass out of my office.

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  4. Wish I could say I’m surprised. A few years ago, a lawyer in the state in which I practice messaged a group of us with a client opportunity. Seems parents of a youth football league participant wanted to force coaches to allow insertion of a tinted visor to their son’s helmet. Because he really wanted to play (or they really wanted him to play)–despite the fact that he’s blind! Somebody took on the case. Don’t know how it turned out, but I’m guessing his SEC officiating prospects are promising.

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  5. Silver Creek Dawg

    I’m glad you wrote a blog post on this after I tweeted it to you. I’m a youth official in soccer (as well as a parent) and this frankly scared the hell out of me. What were the parents thinking (or not, in this case)?

    I’m no lawyer (you are), but I am a certified paralegal; somebody asked me if child cruelty charges were not out of line. What say you, Senator?

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      He dresses out ,played one played …one play. Probably kneeled as ee suggested. Perhaps the parents intended only for him to dress out with his team. Who knows?

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  6. Gaskilldawg

    The New Mexico High School coach did the right thing. Chan Gailey and Tech gleefully played Reuben Houston the entire game by saying, “We did not want to but that Judge made us.”

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  7. DawgPhan

    Or you think that concussions are a liberal media conspiracy.

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    • Dolly Llama

      Oh, there are PLENTY who believe just that. You can easily spot them by their ready use of the word “pussification.”

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      • Back when I was playing–we got knocked out 20 times a game and we toughed it out. Then ran home through six feet of snow, fed the stock, and bathed naked in the snow. Players today nothing but pussies.

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  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    There’s a bigger issue in this too. Stage parenting is one component. School teachers, principals, and school boards are almost incapable of making deliberative judgments anymore, and definitely incapable of standing behind the ones they make. Something goes awry, they have to meet and formulate a written policy. Somebody lawyers up, they cave tout suite.

    I know my government cynicism is showing, but when you combine indifferent retirement clock watching people who are afraid to decide anything anyway, with the slightest threat of a lawsuit, it’s a perfect storm.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Tout de suite”
      I might be guilty of that parenting thing. My oldest got into an altercation with another player. One conflict that I asked the head coach to look into/head off. His response was “let ’em work it out….I can’t get involved in personalities…they’ll work it out amongst themselves. Thats best.” Yet when the other player ended up with a broken collar bone as a result of being uplifted and dropped on a dressing room
      bench it was “we may have to suspend your son for fighting”. Yes I was that dad that said ” oh hell no” ! Lawyered up…it went away.

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  9. Napoleon BonerFart

    He’s a 5’4″ 135 pound running back. I wouldn’t expect many scholarship offers.

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  10. Sh3rl0ck

    Obviously, none of y’all have scored four touchdowns in one game.

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