Columbia players say coach pressures them to play with concussions

1:21 | College Football
Columbia football players send letters wanting head coach fired
Thursday December 4th, 2014

Twenty-five Columbia football players wrote a letter to university president Lee Bollinger, the school's board of trustees chair and a former board of trustees chair alleging a series of grievances against head coach Pete Mangurian, according to the Columbia Spectator

The players claim that Mangurian pressures them to play with concussions and denies their concussion diagnoses. From the letter, which has since been withdrawn, according to the Spectator:

"There are several players who will speak to the fact that Mangurian told them to return to practice, that they are faking their concussions, and that they are being soft if they sit out for their concussion injury."

Former H.S. football player files concussions lawsuit in Illinois

The letter also criticizes the way Mangurian handles the relationship between the upperclassmen and underclassmen and accuses the coach of "being physically abusive, alienating injured players and imposing drastic and unrealistic weight regimens." It also alleges that Mangurian told his players after a September loss that they "are terrible [expletive] people" and "the world would be a better place without you."

The school's athletic director told the Spectator that she is aware of the letter but has no further comment right now. 

Mangurian has served as Columbia's head coach since 2012. The Lions are 3-27 in his three seasons and have gone 0-10 in each of the last two. 

- Molly Geary

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