Football coach banned for ordering crab walks on scorching turf

September 15, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
A Connecticut high school football coach was banned the first two games of the season after ordering his players to perform crab walks on the scorching turf field, leaving many with blisters.

FootballHand-300x200Stratford High School won its first game last week, despite the absence of head coach T.J. Cavaliere. Earlier this month, he ordered players to crab walk on the turf, on a day where temperatures soared above 90 degrees. The temperature of the turf, which absorbs heat, was likely much higher.

According to, six players were left with injuries to their hands.

From the article:

“Our findings revealed that head football coach, Mr. T.J. Cavaliere, immediately realized his poor judgement and apologized via email to both the players and their parents,” Stratford Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said. “We feel that a two-game suspension for Mr. T.J. Cavaliere is both appropriate and sufficient. … Again, this was an isolated incident due to a lack of poor judgement. The safety and well-being of our students is our number one priority. Mr. Cavaliere is a very well-respected coach by the players.

“I am disappointed in this particular thing occurring. I do also believe that people do make mistakes and, particularly when someone acknowledges their mistake immediately and comes forward and takes responsibility for it, they deserve the opportunity to show they mean well.”

The community’s NBC affiliate aired photos of players’ hands, burned and bandaged. Cavaliere wrote a letter to parents apologizing, saying the crab walks were in response to players’ behavior at a recent scrimmage.

“Hindsight is 20/20, and I was not aware the turf could cause blisters on their hands,” Cavaliere wrote, as reported by NBC Connecticut. “I apologize and have learned a valuable lesson.”

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