GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A star Long Island high school football player claims he was kicked off the team because of an injury, and now his parents are suing.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday, former East Meadow High School football captain Billy Andrle was voted Nassau County’s most outstanding high school football player.
Andrle was a linebacker and running back for the East Meadow Jets, until he suffered what turned out to be a high school career-ending injury.
“My wrist tightened up and it was very painful,” Andrle told Gusoff.
Andrle broke his wrist during a team practice in August.
The senior said he was kicked off the team by Coach Vinny Mascia after he followed doctor’s orders and refused to play with his wrist still in a cast.
“I love football and taking away football is everything to me,” Billy said.
Doctors told Andrle that re-injuring his wrist would be catastrophic, Gusoff reported.
“What parent would allow their kid to get hurt, and it’s a big risk. It’s big — you need your wrist for the rest of your life,” Billy’s mother, Donna Andrle, told Gusoff.
The Andrles are now suing the high school for wrongful termination and defamation, claiming students were told Billy quit.
“They wanted him. They wanted him to play. They pushed him. They bullied him,” Bill Andrle said.
“He’s lost scholarship opportunities and has lost possibly his ability to play professional football because hes going to be known as a quitter,” defense attorney Tom Liotti said.
Students told Gusoff they were shocked to find out their football hero was off the team.
“Everyone is on his side but no one really knows both sides,” one student said.
“I think it wasn’t fair because he was a big part of the team. He did bring them far,” said another student.
East Meadow’s athletic director declined comment, but the head of the New York State High School Football Coaches Association said he’s “never heard of a player being released from a team for an injury.”
“I feel like I’m just a piece of meat he used and then threw away,” Billy told Gusoff.
” On September 23, 2013, football coach, Vincent Mascia, was informed that Billy Andrle had been medically cleared to play football. However, Billy’s parents indicated that they did not want him to play due to the risk of further injury.” East Meadow Union Free School District Superintendent Louis DeAngelo said. “The allegations that Billy was thrown off the team are false. In fact, if Billy and his parents change their minds, the district would certainly welcome him back to the playing field.”
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