Coach Suspended 2 Games After Turf Burns Players - NECN
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Coach Suspended 2 Games After Turf Burns Players

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    The Stratford High School coach has been suspended for two games after several players suffered burns and blisters from hot artificial turf earlier this week. A statement from Stratford superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson says school officials "feel a 2 game suspension for Mr. T.J. Cavaliere is appropriate and sufficient punishment." (Published Friday, Sept. 11, 2015)

    The Stratford High School coach has been suspended for two games after several players suffered burns and blisters from hot artificial turf earlier this week.

    A statement from Stratford superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson says school officials "feel a 2 game suspension for Mr. T.J. Cavaliere is appropriate and sufficient punishment."

    It comes after six players suffered blisters on their hands during a football drill Monday, according to Robinson.

    Parents told NBC Connecticut head coach Cavaliere instructed his team to crawl across the AstroTurf at Stratford High School on their bare hands, when temperatures climbed past 90 degrees.

    Robinson said Cavaliere "immediately realized his poor judgement and apologized via email to both the players and their parents." She called the situation an "isolated incident" and said students' safety is paramount.

    In the email, Cavaliere explained the drill was a response to players' behavioral issues at a scrimmage last Friday. He said he never realized the hot turf could injure his players.

    "Hindsight is 20/20 and I was not aware that the turf could cause blisters on the boys’ hands," the coach wrote. "I apologize for what happened and have learned a valuable lesson."

    Cavaliere, who did not attend practice Wednesday afternoon, apologized on Twitter. His account has since been made private. He has not returned requests for comment. 

    Robinson said school officials notified the Department of Children and Families, "as is protocol," but DCF said it did not need to investigate or take action.

    She planned to address Cavaliere's punishment at a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday.