The Kantoh Collegiate Football Association (KCFA) on Aug. 3 disclosed that two former coaches of Nihon University's American football team had filed formal objections to its decision to expel them over a linebacker's dirty tackle in a game in May, despite stating in a news conference last month that no such claims had been filed.
The association received objections from former head coach Masato Uchida and former assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue a day ahead of the July 31 news conference. The discrepancy between the association's earlier statement and the actual situation is likely to call governance of the organization into question.
According to the association, an agent for Uchida and Inoue asked the group to take "sufficient care" in handling the information and not publicly release it. The association explained that it had taken privacy into consideration. It said it disclosed the former coaches' objections after receiving consent from the representative of Uchida and Inoue.
The KCFA board of directors had held an emergency meeting on July 31, but directors were not informed of the formal objections, and apparently only the KCFA executives, including head director Yuji Kakizawa, executive director Keiji Morimoto and secretary-general Makoto Maekawa, knew about them.
When Morimoto was asked why he stated in the news conference that there had been no formal objections to its expulsion of the coaches, he told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I had informed senior officials of my judgment, saying, 'I will answer this way.' But that judgment was wrong. I'm very sorry."
In the July 31 news conference, the association said that it had decided to maintain the suspension of Nihon University's American football team over the dirty tackle against a Kwansei Gakuin University quarterback in a game held on May 6.
In a news conference in May, Uchida denied that he had ordered the dirty tackle that left the Kwansei Gakuin University player injured, but the KCFA disciplinary committee judged that the tackle had been ordered, and in an emergency general meeting on June 26, it formally decided to expel Uchida and Inoue. July 30 was the coaches' deadline for objecting to the measure.
The association has already set up a committee to handle the former coaches' objections.
(Japanese original by Miaki Tsuburaya, Sports News Department)