FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The military style log carrying exercise that killed a 16-year-old high school football player on Long Island, Thursday is gaining popularity and is allowed under high school athletic regulations.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Suffolk Police say the 10 foot long log weighs 400 lbs. It came crashing down as five Sachem East High School football players ran with it hoisted above their heads.
Josh Mileto, 16, was in the middle, he was killed in the team-building drills made popular by U.s. Navy SEALs. Some parents are now asking, why was a battlefield readiness drill on a high school field?
“I think it goes too far, and I’m not allowing my son to play football,” Lisa Cadolino said.
Sachem officials said 16 adults were on the field for pre-season football camp. There are no rules pertaining to what kind of workout equipment can be used. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association said that’s up to each district. The organization now plans to review the safety of a drill that’s growing in popularity.
“All the services do it, so it’s a big fad that’s going through. If the pros do it, the services do it, everybody else is going to do it,” coach Richard Voight said.
Voight is a high school football coach, and also teaches safety.
So is it appropriate at the high school level?
“I would say yes,” he said.
As long — he explained — as coaches closely supervise.
Attorney Ken Mollins has represented many athletic field injured teens and says the drill is simply too dangerous.
“This practice is by far the most dangerous, and most likely to cause injury as any I have seen,” he said.
Sports safety expert Dr. Rebecca Stearns, of the Korey Stringer Institute, agreed, telling WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall the exercise does not belong on the high school level.
“Exercises that would be implemented in Navy Seal training are really given to some of the most elite athletes in our country. It’s really intensive training that they go through and the vast majority of those individuals don’t successfully complete this training,” she said. “Given that consideration, exercises at the high school level wouldn’t seem called for or appropriate.”
The Mileto family has asked for privacy, and in a heartbreaking post revealed that his organs were donated.
Those with first hand knowledge tell CBS2 that Mileto’s mother addressed his devastated teammates on Thursday, in the hospital and told them not to blame themselves for the accident.
A Go Fund Me page has already collected tens of thousands of dollars for the Mileto family. A vigil is planned for Friday, with a funeral set for Tuesday.