An important update: The Sheely Family extend our thanks to everyone who has supported us, and we appreciate your care and concern as we pleaded for the person who wrote the anonymous email to come forward. We want to let you know that the author of the email is now known to us.
Dear Friends of Our Beloved Son, Derek:
Our pursuit of justice is ongoing. We were forced to bring this lawsuit because we wanted to discover the truth of what actually happened to Derek and to ensure this devastation never happens to another child or family.
As you may know, we received an anonymous email in March 2012 (It is pasted below). It describes the shocking events during the August 2011 football training camp at Frostburg State University when our son suffered injury after injury but was denied help by those staff he trusted.
We are very grateful that this individual wrote to us. We only wish we knew who had the courage to send us this email so that we could properly thank you for taking a stand for Derek. You and several of your other brave teammates have helped us discover the truth about what happened to Derek in August 2011.
However, we need to know who you are.
You know in your heart Derek would come forward for you.
If you wrote this email, please contact us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We sincerely thank you – Ken, Kris, and Keyton Sheely
From: John Doe <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 9:36 PM
Subject: Information Behind the Death of Derek Sheely
I would like to start off by saying that I am very sorry for the loss of a great spirited man as Derek. I had only known Derek since the Spring of 2011 and even though I can not call him one of my best friends, I am proud to say he was a friend and teammate of mine.
I know it has been nearly 7 months since the tragic occurence of Derek’s death and I have struggled with revealing the telling the family some information that was either “forgotten” to be told to the family by the Frostburg State University coaches or that was just simply left out. But I can say after reading many interviews from the family and seeing the different news reports, important information was left out about what happened that day and the days preceeding his death. The reason I have been so conflicted with telling the information with it being so vital is that I did not want to cause more hurt and pain and confusion to the family after losing their son and brother. Also, I did not know if the family did know the full story and just chose to leave out certain aspects of the situation to the general public. But now I feel that the family must know that it was not just an “ordinary concussion”, but also negligence on the part of some Frostburg football coaches…mostly on the part of Jamie Shumacher.
Playing fullback Derek was alot of the time in the thick of the grime and violence involved with football. During our position periods, the fullbacks often were working on blocking and violent collisions, which is normal for the game. However, Jamie Shumacher made it way more dangerous than what it should have been. One drill the running backs and full backs would do is run through our plays so we can corect mistkes, get better at them, etc. The fullbacks who were not in the current offensive repition had to go and play defense to give a visual to the offensive players. These players giving the visual look COULD NOT DEFEND THEMSLEVES. When the fullback would go to block he would Shumacher would often say, “KNOCK THE S**T OUT OF HIM” (keep in mind this a defensless player) and when players would try to make their own contact to defend themsleves. they were often met by Shumacher’s furry for “not following the drill” I say all of this to give background on what happened with Derek. Derek happened to be one of the defensless players just becasue he was caught off guard. I am not 100% sure if a helmet to helmet occured but after the contact, to me it looked as if Derek had gone woozy for a second or two. But he shook it off like he often did and he went thru the next periods of practice fine. Later in that practice, during the team period which is all out full contact, Derek had come back to the huddle and told Shumacher that he had a slight a headache. I kind of felt like something had to wrong because Derek NEVER showed pain. Shumacher’s response was, “Stop your bit****g and moaning and quit acting like a pu**y and get back out there Sheely!” With the Head Coach, Rogish standing right next to them he heard Derek’s complaint, heard Shumacher’s response and said nothing. Derek did as he was instructed and continued to practice for a few more minutes. Later a formation was finally called that Derek was not involved in and he got to get behind the drill where all the rest of the players were and he quickly took a knee, then knelt on all fours, kind of gasping for air. A few players yelled for the coaches, “Coach, look at Sheely” and Rogish and Shumacher scoffed and yelled at him to get up. When he tried, and they realized he could not they waited a few minutes then walked over to him and was talking to him. I do not know what was said, but then they called the trainers over and they went back to practice. Thats when I went back to practice and the next thing I saw, was the trainers trying to help him off the field, when suddenly he collapsed.
I am not sure about any other position, but for the running backs, Shumacher always said to report any injuries or problems, but when someone did , he paid it no mind and often psuhed it to the side. In another incident later that week, with another player, he had tweaked his hamstring in the middle of practice and was trying to call for a trainer but no one would hear him. So me and another player called for the trainers for him and when Shumacher, heard us he told us to shut the f up because “we need Pat to play in thuis scrimmage” Referring to Patrick Pinchanat.There were many players on that team who had tweaked hamstrings, ankles and headaches, and even though the trainers told us to report everything,Shumacher as well as Rogish would tell us not to for whatever reason.
I am not completly sure what was told to you as far as him telling a coach that he had a headache, but quite simply two coaches were aware that he did have a headache and took NO precautions to ensure his safety as well as the safety of many other players.
Please, at the receipt if this email, reply back with your thoughts. Again my prayers and thoughts are still with the Sheely family, as they have been since the August 2011.