OSAKA – The father of an American football player injured by a late tackle during a recent game angrily denounced the opposing team’s former head coach and assistant coach Thursday after they denied ordering the illegal hit and blamed it on a miscommunication.
Yasutoshi Okuno, an Osaka City Assembly member and the father of Kwansei Gakuin University’s injured quarterback, said on Facebook, “I’m trembling with anger at the coaches. I will submit a petition asking for disciplinary action to be taken against them.”
Okuno said he feels sorry for Taisuke Miyagawa, the Nihon University player who committed the dangerous play, who explained at a news conference on Tuesday that he had been instructed by the coaches to “crush” the Kwansei Gakuin quarterback.
Miyagawa said the assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue had relayed a message from then-head coach Masato Uchida that he would receive playing time, if he “crushed” the opposing quarterback.
At a news conference the following day, Uchida said Miyagawa’s dangerous hit during the game on May 6 was the result of a miscommunication.
“I absolutely did not use those words,” Uchida said.
For his part, Inoue admitted using the words when he relayed Uchida’s message to the player, but said, “I never instructed him that the purpose was to injure someone.”
At the news conference Uchida said he has temporarily been suspended from his position as a managing director of Tokyo-based Nihon University, while Inoue said he will step down from his coaching position.
According to Nihon University, Uchida was hospitalized right after the news conference due to being worn-out both mentally and physically.
The injured player has filed a victim report with police and the Metropolitan Police Department has started an investigation.
“I’m determined to confront this problem for the rest of my life,” the injured quarterback’s father said.