College and University

Bears rally behind Potsdam assistant athletic trainer diagnosed with cancer


Article reposted from Watertown Daily Times

About a month ago, Alex Berking, an assistant athletic trainer at SUNY Potsdam, went to the Canton-Potsdam Hospital with headaches and vision problems. A few days later, she was undergoing surgery at the University of Vermont Medical Center to remove 90 percent of a cancerous brain tumor.

Now Ms. Berking is preparing for radiation and chemotherapy treatment to eliminate the last of the tumor with the support of the SUNY Potsdam community.

During the women’s hockey game on Tuesday, Ms. Berking skated out to join the team for their photo out on the ice.

“The players really like her,” said Daniel H. Bronson, SUNY Potsdam sports information director. “I think she’s pretty close to the team.”

Ms. Berking joined the athletic department before the 2015-16 season, and works with players on a number of teams, including hockey, lacrosse and soccer, evaluating injuries and helping them recover.

“She’s a great person,” said Michael Pitts, head athletic trainer. “Most people, if they got news like that, would go into a shell — but not Alex.”

Ms. Berking’s diagnosis came about a year after her father, Christopher Berking, died of cancer. This past summer, her sister, Meghan Berking, ran across the country in honor of their father, covering over 4,000 miles with a team of runners to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

As Ms. Berking faces her own cancer treatment, the athletes she has helped — current and former — have rallied to help her.

Ms. Berking is scheduled to undergo six weeks of intense radiation treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. After that, she hopes to return to work while undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Potsdam.

Two days ago, Jordan Ott, assistant softball coach and Ms. Berking’s roommate, started a GoFundMe online fundraiser. At the time of writing, it had already collected over $23,000 in donation, many from current Potsdam athletes or alumni of the program, according to Mr. Bronson.

Starting this weekend, all Bears games will have buckets for collecting donations toward Ms. Berking’s care, and all money raised from chuckApuck competitions at hockey games will be donated to her.

To learn more, or donate to Ms. Berking’s care, visit

College and University

Long-time Oakland University trainer to be honored


Article reposted from Oakland Press
Author: Oakland Press

Oakland University Athletics and the men’s basketball team will celebrate longtime athletic trainer Tom Ford Saturday, when the Golden Grizzlies take on Chicago State at 3 p.m.

Ford announced in May he would be stepping away from his duties due to being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Ford spent 30 years at Oakland providing outstanding treatment to thousands of student-athletes during his tenure.

Ford came to Oakland in 1988 and immediately began working with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the day-to-day duties of the athletic training office as the university’s only athletic trainer. In June 2012, Ford was recognized as the Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society’s (MATS) Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award honoree for his superlative service to the field. He has worked with men’s basketball ever since his arrival, and finished his 30th season on the bench for the Golden Grizzlies a season ago.

In 2016-17 he also primarily worked with women’s soccer, as well as the men’s and women’s golf teams.

“Tom Ford is an institution at this university,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Konya. “He is always welcome within these walls and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude.”

There will be an exclusive offer for former student-athletes for a $30 package that includes a reserved seat game ticket, Tom Ford bobblehead and a donation to the Team TFord Strong Foundation. Former student-athletes can purchase a reserved seat for $10 while supplies last.

Limited edition Tom Ford bobbleheads will be available to the general public for $20 with proceeds benefitting the Ford family.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Oakland University Athletics Ticket Office at (248) 370-4000.

#AT4ALLCollege and University

Huskies to wear sport safety helmet stickers during Apple Cup


Article reposted from The Seattle Times

Nationwide, 37 percent of high schools in the United States have at least one full-time athletic trainer to monitor sports programs, according to a 2015 study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“If you think about that, that’s really low,” said Rob Scheidegger, the University of Washington head football trainer.

During Saturday’s Apple Cup, the Huskies will wear stickers on the back of their gold helmets to raise awareness for safety in youth and high-school football — and athletic trainers’ roles in promoting and maintaining safe standards. It’s part of the Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association’s safety in football campaign.

“We’re hoping parents of kids who are participating in those programs see those stickers and ask what it’s all about,” Scheidegger said. “We talk so much about how dangerous football is, but there so much good from football too. The safety (questions have) sort of put our sport at risk a little bit. There’s a lot of people who look at football and aren’t going to let their kid play. But, really, football is as safe as it’s ever been … and athletic trainers are a key part of that.

“So we want people asking questions about the sports programs they’re letting their kids participate in: Do we have an athletic trainer? And if we don’t, why not? Do we have an emergency-action plan? And if we don’t, why not? That’s what we’re hoping for, to raise awareness about those things.”

The UW employs four certified athletic trainers just for the football team. There are 11 other trainers for the Huskies’ other sports teams, a fairly standard number for major-college athletic departments.

“Our student-athletes here are super lucky,” Scheidegger said. “We have such a great administration. Jen Cohen and her staff put such an emphasis on student-athlete health and safety and put a big invested heavily as far as equipment.”

It’s a different story at youth levels.

Washington state, Scheidegger said, is “pretty progress” when it comes to having athletic trainers in high schools, but many of those trainers are employed part-time — meaning some are only in attendance at football or basketball games. In reality, he said, 60 to 70 percent of injuries occur during practices, and there aren’t always trainers there to assist.

“Yeah, it’s great to have someone there in your program who can create an emergency-action plan, who can educate student-athletes and talk to coaches,” he said. “But, really, the gold standard should be having full-time athletic trainers.”

College and University

Darin Moore remembered as ‘more than a trainer’ to MSSU athletes


Article reposted from The Joplin Globe
Author: Jim Henry

Tuesday was filled with sadness around the Missouri Southern athletics department.

“Walking in the doors was a little tougher today than it has been the last year and a half,” said Amanda Wolf, MSSU assistant athletic trainer.

Darin Moore, former head athletic trainer at Missouri Southern, died Monday after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 48.

Moore came to Missouri Southern in 2001 as an assistant trainer, and he was promoted to head trainer in January 2003. He served in that role until taking a leave of absence last year.

“There are a lot of things I’ve come across and thought of,” Wolf said. “The thing I will miss the most … I worked with him for 12 years, so I used to joke with somebody that I have Kyle, who is my husband at home, but it’s kind of like you have a work spouse. There were many days I spent more time with Darin than I do with my family.

“We would talk about sports; we would talk about our athletes and how we’re doing. We would talk about our kids and our families and vacations. There are times he would come in and prop his feet up on my desk and we would chat. Sometimes we would just sit there … you don’t find that very often any more, and to find that in somebody you work with on a daily basis, it was a relationship we had for 12 years. That’s what I miss, and I missed that last year, too.”

Moore, a diehard Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians fan, treated thousands of student-athletes during his tenure at Missouri Southern, but he also was important to them in so many other ways.

“Somebody said he was like the uncle that you could always talk to.” Wolf said. “You could talk to him about your injury. You could talk to him about other stuff. Somebody said it’s amazing how you would tell him things that you didn’t think you wanted to tell anybody, but you really needed to get that off your chest and talk about it. He was the one they could do that with.”

Tributes to Moore began appearing Monday night on social media. Some examples:

Justin Maskus, MSSU sports information director: “One of the first people I met when I started working at Southern was Darin Moore. One of the smartest, funniest and kindest people I knew. … Our conversations were always one that I looked forward to as a way to escape the normal day-to-day stuff that went on in my job, and I always got a bit of insight with what was going on with our athletes as he seemed to always have the info. Darin was more than a trainer to our student-athletes. To all he was a friend, to some he was a father-figure, to others he was that go-to guy. I know he’s in a better place now. Gonna miss ya D.”

Roger Doman, Freeman Health System: “(Monday) we lost a good man. You may be gone but never forgotten. I will be forever grateful for all you have taught me Darin Moore … not just as an athletic trainer but how to be a better me. You touched a lot of lives in many different ways and we are all better because if it. Love and miss you already bro.”

Nathan Price, former MSSU football player: “RIP D. I’m thankful that my crappy shoulders allowed us to get to know each other so well. You will be missed.”

Landon Zerkel, former MSSU fooball and basketball player: “There were a lot of unsung heroes in athletics at MOSO for our guys/girls and Darin Moore was much more than that. The Missouri Southern athletic program will never be the same without him. He was there for every injury and/or anytime anybody needed to sit down and just talk things out. It was an honor to be on the sideline of the football field or basketball court with such a high caliber person. Thanks for everything Darin. You will always be remembered.”

Three months ago, the MSSU athletics department announced a scholarship endowment in Moore’s name and named the exam room in the Freeman Athletic Training Center after him.

“Darin Moore was a great man, a great friend and a great Lion,” MSSU president Alan Marble said in a release, recalling that Moore was the first person to welcome him to campus. “His passing will leave a void that can never be filled, but his positive impact will leave an indelible mark that will never be matched.”


Services for Darin Moore will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Hope City Church in Joplin. Visitation begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the church. Memorial donations can be made to the Darin Moore Athletic Training Endowment or to a college scholarship fund for his daughter, Ella.


College and University

Behind the scenes look at process of Ohio State athletic trainer Behind the scenes look at process of Ohio State athletic trainer


Article reposted from The Lantern

Injuries go hand in hand with athletics.

Athletes in all sports have to constantly manage them, even if not recovering from injuries, taking the necessary steps to prevent injuries from taking place.

Therefore, in order to fully understand sports at Ohio State, it is important to consider the health of the athletes and the people in charge of ensuring an athlete’s safety. Athletic trainers are an ostensibly underappreciated yet critical component to the Ohio State Department of Athletics.

Currently, Ohio State staffs approximately 19 athletic trainers, eight interns and two physical therapists. There are also 10 team physicians, four sports medicine fellows, four nutritionists,  several sports psychologists, a dentist and a pharmacist, all of whom collaborate with the athletic trainers.

Throughout each season for the sports, an athletic trainer will constantly need to be on site, whether it be at practice or during a game, to be there should something go wrong.

Katie Walker, an athletic trainer who specializes in tennis and women’s soccer, stressed just how different the experience is for every trainer based on the injury-risk of the sport.

“Soccer, obviously, is a higher-risk sport, from an acute contact injury standpoint,” Walker said. “So with soccer I’m really dialed into what’s going on in the play; people going up for headers, sliding into people.”

Walker added that keying in and evaluating an athlete’s current condition while simultaneously judging how an injury impacts the athlete’s play is a necessary skill for an athletic trainer. For example, tennis players would be assessed on their form and their swinging technique in order to see how an injury might be affecting performance.

In fact, the process of guiding an athlete through an injury is one of the primary  responsibilities  for any athletic trainer.

“Once you start to know your athletes and know their personalities and have treated them through so many injuries, it just becomes fun to watch people you know and to watch people who you helped get back on the court or back on the soccer field,” Walker said. “And that’s really where the enjoyment for athletic training comes from.”

Walker said there are multiple steps to addressing an injury during a game. The first action the protocol calls for is evaluating if the injury is major or is a high-risk type of injury.

If the injured player is physically capable of moving himself or herself to the sideline, the trainer will move the athlete to the sideline and further evaluate the injury with the available team physician. Treatment such as ice or taping then might be applied on the field to reduce recovery time.

After the game, more in-depth treatment like crutches or walking boots would be applied in the athletic training facilities. Documentation is the final step, as all athletic trainers must report any sort of injury into their computer medical database.

Preventing injuries is another key component to an athletic trainer’s arsenal. The term “prehab” is used among athletic trainers  to describe preventing future injuries with players who are currently rehabbing.

Walker said prehab consists of working with strength and conditioning coaches to incorporate exercises that focus on building muscle in areas with high-risk injuries, such as ACLs and shoulders.

Athletic training also relies heavily on being updated with equipment and technology. Like any medical field, having the best techniques and technology allows for quicker recovery and eases an athletic trainer’s job.

Women’s soccer uses Polar Team Pro heart rate and GPS monitors in order to track cardiovascular and muscle stress.  Another technology utilized is Omegawave, which is a system of electrodes that calculate changes in heart rate, which aids with recovery. Omegawave can also highlight any cardiovascular discrepancies that might impact an athlete’s ability to play.

Other techniques and equipment are vastly improving and the idea of unique improvements to the athletic training field is being constantly recognized every year.

The concept of athletic training is much more than simply concussion protocols and taping ankles. Although they might not be starring in any of the hype videos or postgame interviews, the athletic training staff are essential for keeping Ohio State’s athletes continually performing at high levels.

College and University



Article reposted from The Villager

tevenson University has 27 athletic teams that compete in the NCAA, with six athletic trainers divided among these teams. Each team has one athletic trainer assigned to work with them.

Connor Trainor (in green) examines student Morgan Cary during the women’s soccer match. (Photo by Sabina Moran)







All athletic trainers at Stevenson have their bachelor’s or master’s degree in athletic training and are certified ATC in the field.

One of the six athletic trainers at Stevenson is Conor Trainor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training at Towson University and a master’s from Temple University. While in graduate school, Trainor gained experience as the graduate assistant for club sports at Drexel University. Just like most athletic trainers, Trainor chose to become one because he likes to work with college athletes; “They [athletes] want to get better and get back into the game as soon as possible,” he said.

Trainor has been an athletic trainer at Stevenson for three years. He works directly with men’s ice hockey, women’s soccer, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, and golf. All of the athletic trainers at Stevenson work with more than one athletic team, usually in different seasons.

“If I have two teams that overlap in a season, then I have to help the team that has the higher injuries and is the higher contact sport,” he explained.

The athletic trainers have a different schedules based on the athletic team with whom they are working. Athletic trainers are always in the training room an hour before a team’s practice so that athletes are able to roll out their muscles, get taped or get physical therapy.  On a day that a team has a game, the schedule is different. They would arrive earlier to set up for their own players and for visiting teams, including water jugs and medical equipment for the players. Athletic trainers are also required to travel with the team for road games.

“A trainer’s job is to keep the athletes healthy and on the field,” said Trainor. The athletic trainers teach athletes techniques to stay healthy, such as stretches and other patient care.

Athletic trainers not only determine injuries, but they help to rehabilitate students.

Kellen Wittman, a senior on the woman’s soccer team, suffered from a torn ACL injury last season,  and explained, “They encouraged and pushed me to my limits everyday so I could be back to 100 percent. All of our athletes wouldn’t be where they’re at today, without the dedication they [athletic trainers] put in day in and day out.”

College and University

The Never-Ending Battle Against Sport’s Hidden Foe


Article reposted from The New York Times

The first thing Colgate University did was purchase a sophisticated $14,000 machine that used ozone gas, not water or detergent, to disinfect all its athletes’ gear. An ice hockey player had come down with a staph infection, and Colgate, fearing the severe and sometimes fatal form of it known as MRSA, was not going to take any chances.

The university didn’t stop at gassing gear.

Out went the shared bars of soap in the Colgate showers. Water bottles were sterilized nightly. Athletes in contact sports got two or three sets of equipment so one set could always be sanitized. Even the university’s furry mascot costume was regularly blasted with ozone gas.

That was a decade ago, and Colgate, like many schools, is still fighting the germ. This year, among other measures, it unveiled plans for a cutting-edge system that would zap locker rooms with a decontaminating fog of hydrogen peroxide and silver to leave an anti-bacterial coating on every surface.

“It’s not weird anymore to implement these kinds of advanced tools because technology has really helped,” said Steve Chouinard, Colgate’s director of sports medicine and an athletic trainer. “We sprung into action, and you consider every possible way to keep the athletes safe.”

By the thousands, high schools, colleges and professional teams have followed Colgate’s path with aggressive, almost obsessive, steps to prevent MRSA outbreaks

And yet, the battle is not won. It has become a never-ending fight against a hidden foe that resists conventional antibiotics. And in the sports world, where the bacteria can flourish in crowded gyms and locker rooms, and amid frequent skin-to-skin contact on the playing field, there is not even a scoreboard to definitively keep track of who is winning.

The disease has disabled some athletes, cutting short their careers, and the most severe cases have been fatal. Ricky Lannetti, a Division III all-American wide receiver at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania, died from a MRSA infection in 2003.

Two seasons ago the Giants tight end Daniel Fells contracted MRSA in his lower leg and spent several tense weeks in a hospital as doctors contemplated amputating one of his feet. Fells retired from football 10 months later. In 2013, three Tampa Bay Buccaneers came down with the infection — two never returned to the field.

Such cases have generated enough anxiety that teams have pulled out all the stops to eradicate the germ or to prevent it from settling in.

Although the most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, reported a decrease in MRSA infections in the general public since 2005, it is difficult to tell what is happening in locker rooms because there has been no study specifically on sports. Anecdotally, based on the number of cases they have treated in recent years, athletic trainers and team doctors nationwide have insisted that MRSA cases in sports declined substantially in the last decade. But they, too, have no data.

Moreover, the movement to curb MRSA in athletics is butting heads with new behavioral trends — like some teenagers’ dogged aversions to showering after games and practices — that imperil the best preventive efforts.

Likewise, practices like body shaving, which has become more popular among young people and can cause tiny cuts that allow MRSA to propagate, have been shown to increase the risk of infection sixfold, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Football, like any sport with frequent skin-to-skin contact, continues to be a breeding ground for the disease. Professional football players are seven to 10 times more likely than the general public to have MRSA bacteria on their skin, according to Duke University researchers.

“It is a job hazard present for people who play football,” said Dr. Deverick Anderson, a director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, which serves as a consultant to the N.F.L.

MRSA, the acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, was once mostly found in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings. About 20 years ago, it began afflicting athletes in contact sports.

Over time, hospitals and other medical facilities developed more stringent hygiene routines that successfully reduced the prevalence of MRSA. It is these best practices that professional teams and athletic departments have spent the last decade emulating.

Sports teams, even at some high schools that have the necessary budget, tended to ramp up their preventive efforts with avant-garde measures.

In the N.F.L., the effort to curb MRSA now borders on a crusade, with an official prevention manual that is 315 pages long. There are meticulous protocols for dozens of procedures, right down to the approved method for refilling the anti-bacterial solution in hand-sanitizer dispensers, which are now omnipresent in locker and weight rooms. (Prepackaged containers are preferred to topping off the dispensers with a large jug — a process that can spread contamination.)

The best-intentioned and most sophisticated tactics, however, can be undone by the simplest omissions. At the high school and college levels, the downfall can be players who refuse to shower with teammates, which is common. A shower can greatly diminish the chance that exposure to MRSA in practice or in a game will lead to an infection.

“It’s like pulling teeth to get the athletes in the shower,” said Bernie Stento, an athletic trainer at Chesterton High School in Indiana. “Some kids are very squeamish about it. After practice, they’re sweaty and have dirt and mud on them. In football, they might have cuts, scrapes and abrasions. I say to them, ‘Guys, without a shower, we’re inviting infection.’

“But just as a practice ends, I’ll be taking things off the field and see kids leaving already.”

It’s a phenomenon discussed often among coaches and trainers.

“It started 10 or 15 years ago, and now there are a lot of social stigmas with the shower in a school setting,” said Bart Peterson, the head athletic trainer at Palo Verde High Magnet School in Tucson. “I don’t know, maybe they don’t want the hazing. But it’s pervasive.”

At Colgate, which is in upstate New York, a fervent education program has changed habits.

Owen Buscaglia, a junior wide receiver at Colgate, said he and his friends in high school considered it weird to shower after practice.

“Now it’s weird if you don’t shower,” Buscaglia said.

Across the nation, the efforts to foster proper hygiene involve far more than shower routines. Some teams buy athletes their own water bottles to deter sharing.

To prevent teammates from sharing towels to wipe their faces or arms on the sideline, trainers have sometimes employed a small army of interns who scoop up any used towel so it can quickly be placed in the laundry. Jim Thornton, the athletic trainer at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, said his teams had begun using chemically treated towelettes that are about half the size of a standard towel and are discarded after each use.

The expense may be worthwhile. One study of high school football players concluded that sharing a towel makes the chance of a MRSA infection eight times more likely.

In wrestling, where the occurrence of skin disorders has been elevated for decades, many college and high school teams mandate frequent examinations for suspicious lesions. In all sports, the ubiquitous training tables, where athletes receive treatment, are now subject to regular, thorough disinfection. Athletes are required to shower before entering any kind of pool or tub used for therapy.

With athletic teams soiling hundreds of pounds of jerseys, T-shirts and padded equipment on a daily basis for sports like football, hockey and lacrosse, a cottage industry has sprung up to rid that gear of bacteria that might lead to a MRSA infection.

High-tech laundry systems — featuring programmable chemical disinfectant injections, high speed water extractors and synchronized cycles that assiduously monitor water levels and temperatures — have become commonplace. Ozone gas machines, like the Sport-O-Zone manufactured in Elkhart, Ind., can be found in equipment rooms from the N.F.L. to small public high schools.

Infectious disease experts are more likely to emphasize other elements of a comprehensive MRSA prevention program, but they do not spurn the emerging devices.

“I would think it would make a contribution to the reduction of staphylococcal infection in the athletic environment,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said of the ozone gas machines.

At Bowdoin College in Maine, Dan Davies, the athletic trainer, said the college had not had a MRSA case involving an athlete in the 10 years since it bought an ozone gas unit. That track record has motivated Bowdoin officials to consider installing a system that would fill the locker rooms and the training room inside the college’s new facility with ozone gas transmitted through the heating and air-conditioning ducts.

Overnight, custodians would lock the doors to the building serving Bowdoin’s football and lacrosse teams, then turn on the ozone gas. The facility is to open next year, and while the new system could add to the renovation cost, Bowdoin, like so many other institutions, may decide it is worth the price. The college once had a MRSA scare.

About 10 years ago, a Bowdoin athlete was unaware he had contracted MRSA, and with a contagious, open wound on his leg, he wandered around the campus — to the dining hall, the weight room, the locker room and the coaches’ offices.

“That gets your attention,” Davies said. “We said, ‘Oh, boy, we’ve got to sit down and make a game plan to fix this.’ We took the stance that we’ve got to push prevention to the forefront. And we haven’t turned back.”

College and University

Athletic Trainers help Keep Storm athletics going strong


Article reposted from The Simsonian
Author: Tanner Krueger

Starting Friday nights, Simpson College students get ready for the night before game day. Non-athletes may be doing extracurricular activities around campus, and others may be going home but not the student athletic trainers.

“Friday night after practice, I usually go get dinner and go back to the room for the rest of the night,” said senior student athletic trainer Jordan Coughenour.

Starting Saturday morning, the students will come in around 10 a.m. to set up for treatments that start at 10:30 a.m.. Chris Fertal, head athletic trainer, and his staff come in early to the training room to set up for game days.

They set up the water for the team, fit the braces and also help the opposing team with any special needs they might have. Once the athletic trainers help the other team move in, they will do treatments for the Storm and make sure all the players are ready for warmups.

Once the players are ready for warmups, the training staff gets a little break before the game.

“Every week we like to get together as a group, and we put together a big lunch spread. Each student and staff member bring something different to eat, so we get to eat before the game starts,” Fertal said.

At halftime, all the trainers help the players with anything that may have happened during the first half. Hydration and retaping are main focuses for the staff during halftime.

After the game, the students and staff wait until all players are out of the locker room. They clean up the field as if no one has been there and then go home.

“It’s a hectic schedule, but I enjoy the business of it,” said graduate assistant athletic trainer Emily Manning. “I get here early in the morning, and I am here in the training room from 12-7 p.m. on an average day.”

There is good communication between the new coaching staff of the football team and the athletic training staff. There is a new energy from the head football coach, Matt Jeter, which has translated to the athletic training staff for the year.

“It will be pretty hectic around here until Thanksgiving break, and then the training hours will slow down for us,” Fertal said.

Having new students each year on the training staff comes with the different challenges of getting them trained and ready for the year. Most of the staff members are seniors this year and need training hours to fulfill the needed credit requirement to graduate.

Teachers within the athletic training major acknowledge the time the students put into the training hours they need, so they do not give as much homework as normal classes. This allows the students to keep up with their school work in their busy schedule.

Although they have hectic weekends, the athletic training staff keep Simpson athletics up and running to so each student can perform at their highest level.

College and University

Former Drake University trainer sues after being fired


Article reposted from The Des Moines Register

A former athletic trainer for Drake University has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Des Moines school, alleging he was wrongly fired because of a medical disability that caused him to urinate in a tub.

Scott Kerr, 62, of Urbandale was the school’s head athletic trainer for 31 years before he was fired last September.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Polk County District Court, seeks unspecified damages for discrimination based on age, disability and gender.

The university has yet to file a response to the lawsuit but has said that it does not comment on personnel matters.

FINNEY: Drake trainer fired for urinating is a bad ending for everyone

In his lawsuit, Kerr claims he has two diagnosed medical issues that cause frequent and sudden urination — an enlarged prostate and a condition called neutrally mediated syncope that requires him to consume large amounts of water.

He alleges that on Aug. 29, 2016, he was cleaning out dirty water coolers in an empty tub while working in a Drake University training room and had a sudden urge to urinate.

Knowing he wouldn’t be able to make it to the bathroom in time, Kerr urinated into the tub, at which point Drake’s women’s tennis coach, Mai-Ly Tran, entered the room.

Two days later, Kerr and Tran met and Kerr explained the situation, at which point Tran asked Kerr to report the matter to his supervisor.

Kerr did so, and the next day, he met with Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Drake’s athletic director at the time, and again explained his medical condition.

According to the lawsuit, Hatfield Clubb suggested that Kerr should have urinated in his pants, indicating she once did so while in an airport and traveling on university business.

She allegedly went on to tell Kerr he was unfit to continue as the school’s head trainer but wanted him to “leave with dignity,” so she would allow him to remain on staff for a few months while training his replacement.

The next day, the school’s legal counsel informed Kerr he was being terminated immediately.

Kerr’s claim of gender discrimination is based on the allegation that Hatfield Clubb urinated in her pants while employed by Drake, failed to report the matter to her superiors and, unlike Kerr, was never fired.

Hatfield Clubb left Drake in August to accept a job with an intercollegiate athletics consulting firm.

Kerr served as Drake’s head athletic trainer since his hiring in July 1985. He oversaw a staff of six certified athletic trainers that was responsible for the health of 375 student-athletes in 18 NCAA Division I sports.

The lawsuit follows a review of the case by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, which issued a right-to-sue letter in August, enabling Kerr to take his case to court.

#AT4ALLCollege and University

An Ode to the Athletic Trainer


Article reposted from
Author: Bryce Kelley

There once was a trainer

Who stayed up all night

To sit in a waiting room

Shaking with fright

For her athlete had called just hours before

Complaining of chest pains, head pains, nose pains and more.


After hours had passed

And every test was done,

The athlete walked to the trainer with his sorry head hung

For he knew the trainer was about to be told

That the athlete had nothing more than a common head cold.


By now the sun had rose

To reveal a new day

And with it a training room

Where the trainer must stay

Until the last of her hundred-odd athletes had gone

No longer complaining of legs they can’t walk on.


And the trainer went home

To eat her first meal

And wait for tomorrow’s inevitable spiel

About how this calf hurts and how this knee pops,

How this hip aches and how this leg stops.


But patience is key along strong coffee

So the trainer goes to bed

Dreaming of a vacation – or three.

An Ode to the Athletic Trainer

If you’re hurting, you go to the trainers. If you’re sick, you go to the trainers. If you’re like me and need someone to complain to about your statistics class and how there’s no earthly reason you’ll need to know how to reverse code variables, you go to the trainers (they may not listen though, they’re good at tuning me out at this point). Athletic trainers are the lifeblood of college athletics and they don’t get the credit they deserve. So this week, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce The Rundown, lowly as it may be, a dedication to Florida State Athletic Trainers.

By this point in my college running career, a list of my injuries probably looks more like the never-ending receipt you get from CVS after buying a Coke. Or maybe the opening credits to a Star Wars movie. And I wouldn’t be here today, able to still call myself a runner, if it weren’t for the trainers that helped keep the jigsaw puzzle that is my body in one piece. It’s not just me either.

In my time here, I’ve seen miracles be performed on the training table. I’ve seen athletes who spend more time in the training room than at home achieve their dreams that had, at one point, seemed so hopeless. I’ve seen the trainers, like in an episode of Scooby-Doo, solve the mystery of an injury and unmask the culprit – which let’s be honest, was probably just not enough stretching.

I think on every ACC title, hell every national title that FSU has ever earned, there should be, in fine print, a note that reads: “This wouldn’t have been possible without our athletic trainers.”

They really are the glue that holds this team together, or more thematically spoken, the athletic tape that holds this team together. They become our coaches, our parents, and our motivators. They drive us to our appointments and endure the countless hours spent in waiting rooms as doctors try to fit us in (Tallahassee Orthopedic Center, I love you guys, but if you’re reading this, please play something other than HGTV in your waiting rooms. I can’t watch another couple not pick the house that they CLEARLY should pick). But most importantly, our athletic trainers deal with us at our lowest lows so they can help us get to our highest highs.

Being an athletic trainer can be a thankless job. So thank you. Thanks Gwen, Armand, Kyra, and Danielle. Thanks to our past trainers, Natalie, Symone, and Kathleen. Thanks to all the student trainers. So raise your glass of PowerAde. Here’s to you athletic trainers. Ok, I’m done. I’m making myself feel like a pine tree with all this sap.

On another note, the Noles will be in the destination hotspot of South Bend, Indiana to run really fast on Notre Dame’s golf course this Friday.

Bryce Kelley, a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications, is a fifth-year Seminole from Hope Valley, R.I. A two-time All-ACC Academic selection in cross country with his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, Kelley will be providing a weekly inside look at the FSU men’s team throughout the season.