Last week, the Daily Hampshire Gazette posted a video shot during a UMass offseason session in 2012 that features a bunch of football players beating the shit out of each other. Or, as UMass coach Charley Molar would later describe it, a "team-building" exercise that instills "mental toughness."
If you watch the video above—which UMass apparently posted to YouTube, as a promotional video for the program—it looks a tad bit more intense than that.
How intense? From the Gazette:
Former quarterback Brandon Hill, who missed time in 2011 due to a shoulder injury, hoped to compete for the job in 2012. He said he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during one of the wrestling matches.
Molnar “had me wrestling a linebacker in the snow,” Hill said. “He put me down and I dislocated my shoulder and completely tore my labrum in half. That kind of bummed me out. I had to go get surgery after that.”
You know what they say, though: A torn labrum will put some hair on man's chest.
Here's how Molnar described it to the Gazette:
“We tried to get these guys to feel that fear, but go out there and do it anyway,” he added. “We never had one guy not go out and box or wrestle. Some of them went out with a lot of trepidation, but by the end of the cycle were thoroughly enjoying the activity. We did all these activities with safety in mind. I’m a fanatic about player safety. I thought it aided in team-building. Guys faced the fear and fought through it. That was the objective.”
UMass alumni are passing around a petition to "stop the mistreatment of current players." It has 156 signatures. According to the Gazette, the NCAA permitted such "drills" at the time the video was filmed but it has since banned so-called "combatives."
The university says it's investigating. The Minutemen are 0-4 on the year and have lost by an average of 25.5 points per game. They won one game last year.