KINGFISHER, Okla. (KFOR) – The Kingfisher School Board rejected a settlement offer from the attorney of a former student who filed a lawsuit over alleged extreme physical abuse he suffered while a member of the high school’s football team.
The school board shot down the settlement offer on Wednesday amid ongoing Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Oklahoma State Department of Education investigations into the alleged abuse.
“We are surprised that Kingfisher has rejected our generous settlement offer. However, we are pleased that we have the opportunity to bring to the public’s attention more revelations,” said Cameron Spradling, the former student’s attorney.
The lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma City federal court, alleging hazing and bullying within the Kingfisher football program as well as mental and physical child abuse.
Court documents filed by the plaintiff’s attorney describe the many forms of abuse the former student allegedly suffered. A football coach allegedly knew of the abuse and in some cases coaxed it.
Abuse allegations include the following:
- A victim was whipped with sometimes knotted and wet, frayed towels while in the shower, with some of the beatings only stopping when the victim “began to bleed”;
- A stun gun was used on the player at least four times;
- The victim was shot with a paintball gun at close range in the locker room;
- Coaches and other players laughed about the abuse;
- Coaches did not discipline the attackers;
- The victim was left in pain with welts on his body;
- The victim was sent threatening messages from other football players. One alleged message told him not to show up to practice and encouraged him to commit suicide. Another alleged message said his mom would be killed if he told her about the abuse;
The lawsuit also details sexual assaults in the locker room, and claims that coaches forced players into locker room fights that they would sometimes bet on as well.
“They said that he was being too big of a p**** and he needed to toughen up,” an anonymous parent told KFOR in August 2020.
The parent who spoke with KFOR in 2020 said their son allegedly had to help another player off the field during a so-called drill called “King of the Ring” (aka bull in the ring).
“For 10 minutes, they went at this boy,” the parent said.
“It was alleged that he was down on the ground and repeatedly players were called in to make contact with him while he was still in a down position,” said Kingfisher Police Chief David Catron in August 2020.
Criminal charges were filed against Coach Micah Ryan Nall, who later pleaded guilty to willfully obstructing and delaying a police officer investigating the abuse charges.
Nall received a one year deferred sentence and $200 fine. Nall also agreed not to coach any public or private school-sponsored sport for one year. That year ends this May.