Bears' Kyle Long booted from Deerfield High field

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by The Benjamin, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Bears guard Kyle Long was asked to leave Deerfield High School's field, where he was training on Thursday. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune / September 28, 2013)
    By Gregory Trotter, Tribune reporter
    5:20 p.m. CDT, July 17, 2014

    Being a Pro-Bowl football player doesn't guarantee turf time at Deerfield High School, Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long found out recently.

    Long said he was working out at Deerfield High School Wednesday when he was asked to leave, according to disgruntled dispatches posted on Long's Twitter account.

    On Wednesday, Long tweeted:
    "Remind me never to go train at Deerfield High School football field again."

    And then:
    "Something about crushing optional 100 yard sprints that Deerfield HS doesn't like on their vacant fields."

    Earlier in the day, Long had asked his Twitter followers which Lake County high schools had turf fields for a workout. He later explained that he was "nostalgic" running on a high school field.

    Long later tweeted that the athletic director gave him "the boot at about 3/4 through."

    The pro football player, though, said he didn't throw his weight around to persuade school officials to let him stay.

    Asked by a Twitter follower whether he informed the school employee who he was, Long responded: "No I'm not much for that kinda thing."

    Jennifer Waldorf, spokeswoman for Township School District 113, said the district's turf fields are only for the use of students and staff members during school hours because of insurance liability and maintenance costs.

    Signs posted at the field prohibit public use, she said.

    While running sprints, Long spotted Athletic Director Robert Ruiz, Waldorf said, and he acknowledged that he likely wasn't allowed on the field. Ruiz confirmed that to be the case.

    "I think it was a quick conversation," Waldorf said. "There was no confrontation. … He quickly finished his sprints and left."

    Waldorf said Long told Ruiz his first name, but didn't say he was a Bears player.

    This isn't the first time a Chicago Bear has been ousted from a suburban high school athletic field.

    In 2011, tight end Greg Olsen, who now plays for the Carolina Panthers, said he was kicked off the field at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

    Many of Long's Twitter followers said he could come train at their respective high schools in the Chicago suburbs.

    Meanwhile, Waldorf extended an olive branch of sorts on behalf of Deerfield High.

    "We would certainly welcome him back to practice with the (Deerfield High) Warriors at any time," she said.

    "We'd love to have him back."

    gtrotter@tribune.com

    Twitter: @NorthShoreTrib

    Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Too late now and why would you welcome back and NFL pro to practice with your HS football team after you say you're worried about the liability and wear and tear involved with him running some sprints on your vacant field.

    How does putting a 316lbs pro OG on the same field with 200lb HS kids not expose the school to liability if one of them gets hurt and what in the hell is your turf made from, unicorn hair? Try again sis this story don't ring true.
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  3. Loki

    Loki Assault Admin Staff Member

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    I'm sure the liability issues extend to Long as well. If he gets hurt on THEIR property... then they can be held accountable for any injury that may occur. Their insurance probably only covers students and staff, so... Long breaks a leg on a divot in the field... they are on the hook.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    True but in this instance I think that's stretching it a little don't you?

    Look, I'm in full agreement that if you have a policy that says only students and staff can use that field and then only during school hours then you should enforce it. Make an exception for Kyle Long and pretty soon Jerry Jogger is on your running track.

    The Englewood HS athletic fields are a block away from me and I'm not allowed on them either. So I'm OK with that but not her glib response about inviting him to a HS football practice.

    If Kyle gets injured at the football practice the same risks apply right? I don't buy into the convenient application of rules only as seen fit by some school administrator. She may have meant it as a joke but it comes off more as an offer that benefits her school and not Kyle.

    That said, he's just the kind of guy who would show up at their HS football practice but not the kind of guy who would sue them for risks he knew that he was taking.
  5. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It sounds like they didn't realize Kyle was a Bears player. I really respect the fact that he didn't even tell them he was an NFL player. A lot of guys would have played the diva and got pushy about being a big-shot NFL celeb. It sounds like Kyle just quietly left without even telling them who he was.

    I'll bet that if the school would like to allow Kyle access to work out there, then they could figure out a way to do this and not risk liability. I get it that they don't want everyone using their field, but this could be an exception they allow - if they had a liability waiver signed or something like that, so he could practice with their blessing. In fact, we've had (and still have one guy who plays for the New England Patriots) NFL players from our high school. I couldn't imagine our coach telling them they couldn't work out at the high school facilities.

    One other thing.....totally unrelated but it came to mind while I was typing this. We had three players from our local Pop Warner type league, go on to be NFL players. They are brothers. They don't live here anymore (their parents still do though). I have often thought of how cool it would be, if sometime when all three were visiting with their parents during the football season, if they would visit their old team and talk with the players (these are grade school age kids.....very young). How cool would that be, as an 8, 9 or 10 year old boy, to meet with three 300-pound NFL linemen who could talk a bit about getting their start with the local children's football team? These guys are in their 30's now and retired from the NFL, so they probably do visit their parents at times during the football season now.
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  6. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Love the that he didn't play the diva card like so many athletes might have.

    Also respect that they did not bend the rules despite their empty invite back..... Because once you open the door a crack, it tends to be blown off the hinges.

    Okay you can since you are an NFL player for the local team.... Leads to other NFL players, which could lead to all pro athletes, extends to minor league guys (in baseball Ect.) could lead to amature athletes training for this or that.....

    Excepions are funny, and watching how they get expanded for very little reasons, and before you know it, your private field is now open to the general public.
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  7. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    During school hours is the key.

    I'm not sure why he did this during school hours. This could have been a security issue as well.

    Off school hours, I would say it's wrong for them to boot him.
  8. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member

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    Not stretching at all...Kyle is a professional athlete, worth a few million dollars, and a key piece of the Bears offensive line. If he were to get injured training at a non-Bears facility, that facility could definitely be liable for it. Im not saying it would happen, but the Bears could definitely sue that school (or any other facility a player gets injured at). Thats the type of legal liability a school does not want.


    In any case...how the hell did he get in there without anybody knowing? Did he just hop a fence and decide to train on his own? Did he ever ask anyone at the school for permission to train there? This whole story seems....weird.
  9. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    I never understood the whole liability thing.

    If you are on another persons property by your own free will, it's buyers beware.

    He gets hurt, it's on him. I know that's not how the courts see it, but I never understand that.

    It's the old case of the burglar getting hurt while robbing you. You owe that person some money for getting hurt on your property, while committing a crime. I hate liability!!
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  10. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    I agree, it's during school hours I'm thinking. Maybe he thinks school is not in session or something?

    To me, I'm not going near a school unless my kid goes there.

    However, shame on them for not recognizing Kyle!
  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think they meant only students and staff and then only during school hours. Even students and staff can't use them at their convenience unless it's a school sanctioned event after school.

    If it's the same basic idea as the local HS here essentially no member of the general public is ever able to use their sports facilities anytime unless they have express permission do so and since it's very unlikely they'll grant permission it pretty much means never.

    I could be wrong but I still think that's what it means though I agree that how they manage to enforce that edict after school or on weekends is a mystery. Maybe they have private security people doing it or the police would enforce it with a summons for trespassing.

    But it was pretty cool of Kyle to just apologize and bail. He's not the NFL diva type so that doesn't surprise me.
  12. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member

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    Liability was probably born because of Insurance companies. Whenever someone gets injured, insurance has to pay for it, so of course they are going to want to put the blame on somebody else, so THEIR insurance will have to cover the costs. Its the same reason you have to be in a wheelchair when you are discharged from the hospital, if you slip and fall on the way out, then the hospital has to cover those costs, making them liable for your new injury.
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  13. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    I know more and more schools are being used as Churches around here, and in some other states.

    It just cracks me up.

    As for Kyle, yeah, I agree. Very classy of him to just apologize and leave.
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  14. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    The wheelchair is a prime example!! lol

    But if I slip on the way in, they aren't liable?

    To me, if it's their fault because they mopped the floor and didn't put a sign, then yes. If my dumb ass didn't pay attention, it's on me.

    I guess I'm just not looking for handouts. lol So the liability thing doesn't completely make sense to me.
  15. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    I've never had a problem running on our H.S. track even during school hours. Their only requirement is that I run on the outside lanes because the two inside lanes get most of the wear. I can see where they would have a problem with running on their grass field for reason Loki mentions.
  16. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    This is much ado about nothing imo. If he had contacted the school ahead of time let them know who he was, and what he was looking to do, and since it was against policy would be willing to do something in return for the exception, none of this would have happened.
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  17. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Both Long and Deerfield handled this properly. Cool story.
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  18. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    No fence is mentioned so I think we can assume none existed. Most practice fields around me aren't fenced. Just the playing fields. If he'd asked permission he would probably have been denied it based on their policy. So from all of that it looks like he just walked on the field to do some sprints on some real turf.

    I think it is stretching it Jimmors. I'm no attorney but I've hired enough of them and worked around plenty. You can sue anyone for anything but many lawsuits have no substance under law and get dismissed before they ever get to court. IMHO the Bears have no cause for an action if Kyle used those premises on his own and without permission. They're once removed and have no case. In effect Kyle was trespassing so that alone constitutes an illegal act on his part and that alone would damage his case if he were to sue. As for the Bears, while they may have suffered damages, I don't see anything they can reasonably hope to build a case on.

    Now if Kyle gets permission and is injured due to some fault or flaw in the field that created a hazard he was unaware of he might have a case himself but even then the Bears tort is questionable. With no permission his trespassing comes into play and that limits the schools liability. Even with the schools permission, which would definitely increase their liability, they would have had to have created and had reasonable knowledge of a hazardous situation and either forbid him to use the field because of it or at the very least forewarned him about it. Then if he goes out an injures himself they have a defense.

    It's pretty tough to win a lawsuit over your own actions or clumsiness unless the other party created a hazard you couldn't have known about. JMHO.
  19. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Overall you make a good point here but this is not universally true. I've walked out of a good many hospitals under my own power. It really depends on both the situation and the hospital.

    But regardless of all this I'll just go back to repeating what I said previously. You can file a lawsuit for nearly anything but that doesn't mean it will get you anywhere. If it's found to be frivolous it'll get dismissed by any judge in a NY minute and the plaintiff could end up paying the defendants legal costs.

    Even if it's not found to be frivolous the courts don't want to try civil suits so they expect the parties to settle and they'll often issue pretrial judgments that can mitigate or even eliminate most or all of a defendants liability.

    The perception of liability in this case is far greater than the actual or potential liability. Kyle Long is a highly conditioned pro athlete and he would be held to a higher standard than John Q. Public as far as knowing and understanding whatever risks he was taking to train there.
  20. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    We live 3 blocks from a school. My kids grew up often playing pickup football games on their property with their buddies, over the past several years .....going back to when they were little guys (they'd even have games in the snow there in the winter). A few winters ago, when my kids were high-school age, after a BIG snow, the guys went down there to play football. After a bit of time one of the guys came back and politely asked me for a snow shovel. I thought that was a bit weird, but I gave him our shovel and the kid trudged off through the drifts towards the school with my shovel.

    About an hour later, my son came home alone (I also noticed that our car was missing). My son told me the car was "stuck" on the football field in a snow drift. I about had a stroke, and went to the school and sure enough - there were a bunch of my son's buddies ferverishly trying to dig our car out.

    At that moment the school principle arrived.

    I thought we were all dead meat. So I told my son to explain it all to her (I was in a state of shock at this point). The principle was a really nice lady who knew all of the boys, including my son. My son explained to her what had happened, and I told her I would get a tow truck to get the car out of there ASAP. Instead of going ballistic, she just asked my son if everyone was all right (nobody hurt) and when he said they were all fine, she gave my son a hug and said no problem. And away she went.

    A lot of schools would have probably called the police on us. I'm thankful this lady was pretty understanding. We got the car out of there, and no harm to the school, the kids or the car.

    It's too bad that we live in a time where everyone is suing everyone and a guy like Kyle Long can't run on the grass at a public school. It seems kindof crazy how times have changed. That principle at our school would have probably have just told Kyle to have a great season, and went on her way - and maybe asked for his autograph :-)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
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