BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — The father of a Ravenwood High School student is suing his son’s former football coach, also a former Titans football player, as well as Williamson County Schools and the superintendent for the physical handling of his son during a practice last year, according to a lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Assistant Football Coach Ryan Fowler put on a helmet and pads during practice on September 18, 2019, and participated in a drill in which he struck the 16-year-old in the head with his shoulder, causing him to black out and suffer a complex concussion.
The suit alleges Fowler, as a coach, should not have had a helmet and pads on per TSSAA rules, and that there was no reason for a defensive outside linebacker (Mr. Fowler) to hit an offensive guard [his son] within the context of the specific play, as reviewed by a the practice video that was later taken off the website for public view.
Due to this incident, the suit states Fowler was fired, but that the 16-year-old boy then experienced retaliation from peers and even Fowler himself at school events, in which, the suit says the school never intervened.
The father claims his son’s grades dropped from A’s and B’s to D’s and F’s with the doctors appointments, time missed in school, and retaliation by peers.
The boy ultimately switched schools.
The lawsuit also states that Fowler was suspended in 2018 for “violently grabbing a student and slamming him on a table in what Mr. Fowler described as ‘game-like’ activity.'”
According to the suit, when Fowler returned, he was placed on a performance improvement plan.
News 2 reached out to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services for further details on their investigation of the incident.
Fowler, the suit states, was hired in 2014 and was also a teacher at Ravenwood High School until 2019, when he switched solely to coaching.
The suit seeks damages for battery on behalf of Fowler; negligent, hiring, training, and supervision of WCS and Superintendent Jason Gold; negligence from all parties, as well as prayer for relief.
Fowler previously played for the Cowboys, Titans, and Jets in his NFL career from 2004-2009.
TSSAA said they have no comment.
News 2 could not find a contact for Fowler Tuesday.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.