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Holy Family Basketball Coach Suspended

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The attorney for a basketball player at Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia says they’re looking for answers after his client says he was assaulted by the coach during a practice late last month.

Attorney Jack Cohen says he has a video that shows coach John O’Connor knocking Matthew Kravchuk to the ground, then kicking him while he was down, leaving Kravchuk’s mouth and nose bleeding.

Kravchuk said his coach then told him to leave practice.

“At that point, I just wanted out of there. I didn’t want to be around him because I was embarrassed at what he did to me and everything,” Kravchuk explained.

Cohen says the 19-year-old sophomore forward told him he doesn’t know why the coach did it, but Cohen says the attack left his client with serious injuries.

“The university physicians that he had been treating with told him that they believe he may have a TFC tear in his left wrist. He’s now not able to grasp with the left wrist. He can’t lift anything of any weight and has limited range of motion,” Cohen said.

Kravchuk reported the incident to police, who are still investigating the incident. Cohen said they’ve heard little from the university, who would only confirm that they suspended O’Connor. They would not say for how long or what the terms of the suspension are.

Kravchuk said he wants to keep on playing basketball for Holy Family, but not for coach O’Connor.

Several other Holy Family basketball players said the incident has been blown out of proportion and defended O’Connor.

“Our head coach is a very extremely loving, understanding head coach and he would never do anything to jeopardize our well-being,” player Rickie Crews said.

A call to O’Connor’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Watch The Video …

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio; Dave Huddleston, CBS Philly

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  • NCAA II College Basketball Coach

    As a college coach for the past 12 years, I find this terribly disturbing. There are certainly other instances in which coaches have knocked kids to the ground during an intense practice situation. I, myself, have knocked a kid to the ground when I was demonstrating “fighting” through a screen. However, the difference in my case is that when I knocked the kid down, I immediately stopped and helped the kid up, asked if he was okay and apologized. He was not hurt, but I know that he was startled and surprised by what had just happened. If the coach would’ve stopped at that moment and changed his demeanor and tone, even though the kid was injured from the incident, all this could’ve been avoided. I don’t blame the kid at all for doing what he’s doing now, I blame the coach for not taking responsibility for his actions. His reasoning is garbage, he needs to stop explaining what he was trying to do and simply agree that he went over the line, whether it was intentional or not. He missed his moment when the incident happened.

  • Tee

    Hmmm… it look like the coach was trying to show the kid how to block and the kid got caught off guard and fell to the ground. The kick was probably a little much but it didn’t look like it was a real kick it was more playful.
    I think the kid was embarrassed and that’s understandable. The school could have prevented all the drama if they would have just met with the boy ,his parents,and the coach and dealt with it accordly.

  • slick

    When has it become ok for a teacher/coach or anyone to put your hands on someone else…dont we teach our children to resolve matter without hitting…I would rake that coach through the coals!!! It is just basketball!

  • Chad K

    Hardly a kick… more like a nudge in the ass. Hey, you have to practice hard if you want to play hard. It’s a mole hill, NOT a mountain.

  • Jeff

    I would come back with a baseball bat to that coach’s face if that were my kid. IT’S JUST A GAME……and at a lousy school too!!!

    • Jay B

      just a game…sure, perhaps he should give back his scholarship, you know that free tuition coupon that basically allows you to get a $75,000 education for playing basketball…the coach was wrong and should be suspended, however, the team obviously is behind him and not the player, that is rare, why don’t you put the baseball bat away tough guy

    • ppn512

      he was showing how to take a charge

  • Marty

    Your headline does not match up with your story.

  • KG

    Wow. Kid must have a pretty bad boo boo after that. Maybe mommy can kiss and make it better. Or maybe he could just grow a pair.

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