A college American football player says the team's coaching staff ordered him to carry out a controversial late tackle that sent his opponent to the hospital.
Many Japanese were glued to their televisions as the Nihon University defender apologized to the Kwansei Gakuin quarterback who he injured.
The player then detailed his coaches' instructions.
He said, "One of the team's coaches told me that he had asked the head coach what it would take to put me back in the game. He told me to go to the head coach and say that I would break the quarter back in the first play and to put me back in. I took it literally to mean that I had to really break him, and so I felt cornered. I finally went to the head coach to tell him that I would break the quarter back. He told me that my words would be meaningless if I didn't do it."
During the game on May 6, the defender barreled towards the quarterback's blindside, long after he had released the ball. The quarterback received a knee injury that was expected to take 3 weeks to heal. He has filed a police complaint.
The team's head coach, Masato Uchida, resigned last week to take responsibility for the hit. But Nihon University maintains Uchida did not tell his defender to break the rules.