Before being forced to resign this week, Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson had mistreated multiple injured players, according to new reporting from the Indianapolis Star and ESPN.
ESPN first reported on Thursday that Wilson had been investigated for his treatment of players, and the Star and ESPN have now published details from those investigations. The reporting describes a system where players’ health concerns were minimized in order to rush them back to the field.
The first investigation of Wilson was prompted by defensive tackle Nick Carovillano, who injured his back in 2014 during a collision in practice. According to the Star, team trainers told Carovillano his injury was minor and did not examine him in full, instead instructing him to stretch more. When the freshman decided to visit an independent doctor as his pain persisted, he was told to stop playing football immediately and was diagnosed with a bone fragment and three damaged discs in his back. He tried to leave Indiana a few months later, and Wilson pressed him to stay to the end of the semester so as not to damage the football program’s academic progress rate. Carovillano decided to leave the university regardless.
The reporting from ESPN tells of three additional stories of injury mistreatment, including a player forced to return from a concussion early and a player told that a blood clot (later requiring surgery to remove) was only a bruise.
When Indiana announced Wilson’s resignation on Thursday, athletic director Fred Glass cited “philosophical differences.”