Ex-A&M trainer says coaches negatively influenced job

Former Texas A&M athletic trainer Karl Kapchinski — who spent 31 years at the school — appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports” and talked about being pressured by coaches when it came to treating player injuries. He says the pressure was extreme in regard to the better players on the team.

Kapchinski was relieved of his duties in November 2013 for what then-athletic director Eric Hyman called “unacceptable job performance.” He filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the school.

A transcript of the “Real Sports” interview with host Jon Frankel was provided by the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman.

JON FRANKEL: “Did you ever feel pressured to return a player to the field before you thought he was ready?”
KARL KAPCHINSKI: “I would say yes.”
KAPCHINSKI: “While we’re considered part of the medical staff in a lotta cases, the head coach just sees you, basically, in some cases, being subservient to his situation.”
FRANKEL: “Did you ever have a coach say to you, ‘I need this kid back?’ “
KAPCHINSKI: “Yes. They would always, you know, tend to put pressure on you to get good players back.”
FRANKEL: “Is there anybody you put back into a game and you said, ‘Mm, I wish I hadn’t done that?’ “
FRANKEL: “Because it went against your better judgment, or because it resulted in the player limping off the field two plays later?”
KAPCHINSKI: “Because it resulted in the player having a subsequent injury.”
FRANKEL: “If you said to a coach, ‘Coach, I know we said it was gonna be four weeks, but we need an extra week.’ What would the coach say to you?”
KAPCHINSKI: “You would be challenged on your character, your credentials. You know, maybe you were the wrong guy for the job.”
KAPCHINSKI: “There’s been a lotta great quality athletic trainers that have subsequently lost their jobs because they stood up for the players or were doing the right thing.”

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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