The men's basketball coach at Concordia University, a Division III school in Chicago, will keep his job despite five of his players recently being hospitalized after he allegedly ran a grueling practice as punishment for curfew violations. The coach, Steve Kollar, was "temporarily removed" while the school investigated but he is expected to return "in the weeks ahead," the athletic director said.
"We believe the intensity of the practice contributed to the students' illness when combined with other factors including, but not limited to, an immediate return to full activity after an extended break, cross-country travel, rest, hydration and nutrition," said Pete Gnan via CBS News. "The University and athletic administration has full confidence in Coach Kollar and believes that he has the best interests of our student-athletes in mind."
Five of Kollar's players were hospitalized some time between Jan. 2 and Jan. 4 after Kollar ran a rigorous practice that was allegedly in response to team curfew violations. The school investigated and determined that it could find no evidence that the practice was an act of hazing or that Kollar had intentions to harm the players.
The players who were hospitalized suffered from conditions similar to lactic acidosis and rhabdomyolysis, CBS News reported. Rhabdomyolysis, which can be caused by extreme physical exertion, can be fatal or result in permanent disability in some cases.
There is no exact date for when Kollar will return to head coaching duties so in the interim, assistant coach Rashaan Surles will continue to serve as acting head coach and oversee day-to-day operations.
Concordia, which had to forfeit three games following the hospitalizations and is expected to miss its fourth game on Saturday, is officially 8-2 on the season because the forfeits are officially considered no-contests and are not reflected in a team's overall regular-season record.