Osceola football coach accused of letting players who didn't undergo physicals practice



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Some Osceola County school board members said they're upset that a coach at Celebration High School may have allowed students to practice without having undergone proper physicals.

Concussions and sickle-cell trait are just some of the conditions that can hurt or even kill student athletes, which is why every student athlete must undergo a physical before participating in a sport.

Channel 9 looked through hundreds of pages in a file that included several complaints about Celebration football coach Ed Meircort.

Most of the file centered on a fundraiser Meircort is accused of mismanaging. There's also testimony from staff members who call the coach a bully and a teacher who said the coach got physical with him during a confrontation.

But an allegation made by the school's athletic director is raising red flags. It states, "The football team had well over 20 athletes that were ineligible - -- several of which were still being allowed to practice."

It appears some players didn't undergo proper health physicals, which is a violation of Florida High School Athletic Association rules.

Miercort is out of town but spoke to Channel 9 on the phone and said in some of those cases, forms for some students were misplaced by the school and he never meant to put kids at risk.

"I will tell you this, no one would ever knowingly, would ever practice a kid without a physical," he said. "That would make no sense whatsoever. There was a lot of miscommunication or no communication at all and we ran into logistical headaches and dealt with it."

The incidents were dealt with by school board chair Jay Wheeler, who, according to the file, arranged for a "physical day" at the school by bringing in doctors who administered checkups for dozens of students on campus.