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Case Study


Factsof the Case

BrianSeamons was assaulted by his teammates in the locker room after afootball match. However, the school coach and the principal did notresolve the dispute amicably. The teammates responsible for theassault were not banned from the team. Later, the coach attempted tobring the players to reconcile the issue however, the assailantsemphasized that Seamons had to apologize for reporting them to theauthority, so he had to apologize for the mistake before theyaccepted him back. Brian declined to ask for forgiveness, citing thatreporting the issue to the authorities and his parents was within hisFirst Amendment rights. He contested that the coach had breached hisfreedom of speech by forcing him to express regret for seekingjustice through the police (Cotton &amp Wolohan, 2013).


Thecase presents various issues that led to the final decision and oneof the main questions that bore a factor in the final decision was,“Did CoachSnow ask Brian Seamons to apologize to the team captains directly?”This was a legal question covered in the case as the courts tried todetermine if there was a dispute between the two sides of the casegiven by Snow and Seamons. It investigated the question, “Whatwas the intended scope of the apology to be made by Seamons?”The coach stated that an apology was the only way back for Brian toplay for the team again however, the nature of the apology was notstated. The final question the court asked included, “WasSeamons’ lack of apology a factor in his dismissal from the team?”This question was asked to determine whether the only conditionnecessary for Seamons to get back to the team was through an apology(Cotton &amp Wolohan, 2013).


Foreach of the questions asked, the court gave a definite decision. Forthe first legal question, the court stated that if it was to look atthe two sides of the story differently, then there was a definitedisputed issue of fact. In the second query, the court determinedthat the coach`s sentiments were directed towards the reconciliationof all the teammates. However, the court realized that Seamons tookthe statement to mean he would not come back to the team unless heapologized for reporting the incident and which would be apparent toa jury as well. For the final question asked, the court showed thatthe apology was the only element needed for Seamons to play the game,and that when he decided not to say sorry, he was removed from thefootball squad.


Insummary, the court found that the defendants were entitled toqualified immunity. The court also established that Seamons did notshow any law that supports the proposition made against the schoolcoach or the principal. The complainant was granted a summaryjudgment on the basis of qualified immunity de novo. Coach Snow wasat the center of the debacle since he had the power to place Seamonsand remove him from the team. Nonetheless, the court showed that thetrainer was entitled to qualified immunity since he asked for anapology with the intention to resolve the confrontation (Cotton &ampWolohan, 2013). Finally, Seamons was given a day in trial as he metthe conditions for stating a claim and alleging material facts indispute.


Cotten,D., &amp Wolohan, J. T. (2013). Lawfor recreation and sport managers (6thed).Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.