Seamons V. Snow Case Study

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Seamons v. Snow
206 F.3d 1021 (2000)
Facts
Brian Seamons, plaintiff, a student-athlete and member of the Sky View High School football team in Smithfield, Utah, was dismissed from the team as he refused to apologize to the team for reporting to the police and school administration of being assaulted by four teammates in the locker room. Seamons, claimed his First Amendment of free speech was violated because of his refusal to apologize to his teammates. Disciplinary action to the four attackers was not initiated by the coach even after a meeting was held with the coach, parents and the principle of the school as well as a separate meeting with the coach and the four team captains of the football team.
Issues
Under the First Amendment
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In Koffman v. Garnett, the court’s decision that assault and battery did not take place but gross negligence did is interesting how they interpreted the law in their ruling. The mere facts of difference in age, weight, physical maturity and the authoritarian position of the defendant held, would be enough in any parents eyes to surely think there was at least a case of battery. The allegation of assault is faint as there would need to be burden of proof that the plaintiff was intimidated by the coach. From previous accounts that the players did not have tackling drills, the plaintiff would have no reason to be fearful of the tackling demonstration as this was his first year of football. Football itself is a very physical game, and the case of battery in organized sports that involve physical contact can be very difficult to prove (Harvard Law Review, 2008). The current case, the ruling that battery did not occur, could have been ruled in favor because of the severity of the injury and more importantly, the coach had the knowledge of what he was demonstrating. Furthermore, the argument of consent that the plaintiff knowingly signed up for a sport that a severe injury could occur, does hold merit if it was another teammate that caused the injury. For the ruling to not be in …show more content…
Therefore, proper coaching philosophies need to be in place to prevent incidences of negligence such as in the Koffman v. Garnett case. In the Seamons v. Garnett case, a disciplinary protocol response process should have been followed by the coach and administration to formally avoid any type of litigation because of unfamiliar decision making. Furthermore, each case represents the importance of having continuous training in coaching techniques and education in proper protocol when an incident takes place on school

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