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