Several Texas high school football students were hospitalized after they were forced to perform up to 400 push-ups in an hour as punishment by their coach, according to local reports.
Rockwall-Heath High School Head Football Coach John Harrell is now on leave while a third party conducts an investigation, the school said in a letter to parents, according to Dallas’ Fox station.
The alleged incident happened Friday during an eighth-period athletic class at the elite public school just outside Dallas.
One mother claims her son was forced to do 300 to 400 push-ups with no water breaks, according to the Dallas Morning News, but she did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation.
Her son was hospitalized and diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney damage or failure, the paper reported.
At least eight students were hospitalized after the extreme workout, according to the paper.
The school learned about what happened Monday and took immediate action, officials explained in the letter to parents.
“Please know the district immediately implemented measures to address the situation and provide support for our students.
“The district is also taking interim action, including but not limited to, placing Coach Harrell on administrative leave while the investigation is pending and notifying appropriate outside agencies. District administrators and campus personnel have been in contact with the affected families and student-athletes,” the letter read, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Harrell has been the head football coach at Rockwall-Heath for a year and has been part of the school’s program since 2019.
He’s also coached at other schools in North Texas.