by Will Brinson
Hello there, and welcome to the "Holy Crap I Hope This Isn't True" Department post of the day. You see, Shawn Rider, a pitcher for the Bevill State Community College in Sumilton, Alabama, has accused his coach of forcing him to kneel and take 80 and 90 mph fastballs to the chest as punishment for providing a false excuse for his absence at practice.
[Frank] Hambrecht [Rider's grandfather] said Rider, a right-handed pitcher, missed a Bevill practice and initially gave coach Ed Langham a false excuse. "Like any other 19-year-old, he told the coach he was someplace he wasn't to avoid practice," Hambrecht said.
[...] When Rider later told the coach the truth, the freshman was told to put on a catcher's mask and chest protector and kneel about 45 feet from a pitching machine without a glove, Hambrecht and Debbie Rider claim. The distance from a mound to home plate is 60 feet, 6 inches.
With the player holding his hands behind his back, Langham dispatched "80-, 90-mile-per-hour fastballs" from the machine, Hambrecht claims.
Now, in fairness to Langham, the school claims that for 10 years he's run a really clean cut program (although they said the same thing about Bud Kilmer, I suppose). Also, the prosecutors for the city of Sumiton have already decided that, assuming the allegations are true, any potential crime isn't going to qualify as a "felony level assault". So, he's got that going for him.
College Pitcher Says Coach Made Him Kneel in Front of Pitching Machine for Punishment originally appeared on FanHouse Back Porch on Mon, 10 Nov 2008 12:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.