I follow WSU football pretty religiously, and I had not seen a whiff of anything like this before. Apparently our head trainer left the football program last fall (or was removed, it is unclear, especially because he is now in an administrative position with WSU) after expressing reservations about certain workouts and clashing with the coaching staff over player concussions.
Just from the quote below, it seems like the training staff and the players were indicating they weren't ready to play yet, and the coaching staff was pressuring the return of those players because of suspicions that they were "soft."
This is a tough one, but just based upon the quotes here, I'm inclined to come away from this piece with some serious reservations about the coaching staff and how this situation was handled. While it is possible that someone simply had an ax to grind in this scenario, I'm much more inclined to believe there were some serious concerns about player safety that simply were not voiced until this article was written.
Admittedly, the increased number of concussions during last fall was pretty staggering, but caution seems to be the name of the game when it comes to head injuries, and the idea that this coaching staff is putting pressure to return these players over the head of the training staff, and that a member of the training staff may have been let go (forced out, or decided to leave on his own along a similar rationale) for expressing safety-related concerns... that doesn't sit well with me at all.
I know, we want a team that plays tough, and is tough, but yeesh. I'd be very, very interested to hear Drake's (the trainer that departed the program) perspective. He likely signed some type of NDA (non disclosure agreement, which is legally binding and prevents him from commenting on his work or the circumstances of his departure), but it would be a simple matter for WSU to waive the NDA so that we could get Drake's actual perspective. Though he might not be willing to provide it for fear of negatively impacting his own future.
At the end of the day, I feel like these allegations from unnamed sources within the program concerning the compromising of player safety should be treated very seriously, and I'll be interested to see if it leads anywhere from here. Love me some Cougar football, but player safety should come first and foremost.