(UPDATE: John O’Connor has “resigned” from his coaching job at Holy Family University after video showed him hitting and knocking down one of his players. O’Connor will not face any criminal charges, according to the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. Here’s the link to the Associated Press story.)
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt may lose his job after this season. John O’Connor, one of his former assistants, may lose a lot more than that: He has been suspended for hitting one of his players.
O’Connor, who worked at Tech from 2005 to 2010 as director of operations and then assistant coach under Hewitt, has been suspended from his first-year head coaching job at Division II Holy Family University in Philadelphia, after a player filed a police report claiming he was assaulted.
There is video evidence of the incident, via MyFoxPhilly.com. It shows a practice from last month in which sophomore Matt Kravchuk gets knocked to the ground by O’Connor and then is verbally abused by the coach. You’ll see Kravchuk getting hit, then even half-kicked as O’Connor yells at him to, “Get up!”
Kravchuk then leaves the drill bleeding, prompting O’Connor to yell, “Got a little [bleeping] blood on ya? Good!”
Here’s the video and news report from MyFoxPhilly (via TheBigLead):
This is O’Connor’s first head coaching job. He also was an assistant at Drexel and Lafayette. Here’s his bio from when he was an assistant for the Yellow Jackets.
Quick comment: I understand there are some folks who believe some high school and college athletes get coddled too much. Regardless of where you stand on that, this was over the line.
It’s inexcusable that O’Connor was allowed to coach for five games after the incident and that the school appeared to be attempting to sweep the incident under the rug before Kravchuk went public.
With that, I welcome your thoughts. Do you agree this was over the line?
By Jeff Schultz