Settlement reached in Bradforth case

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Community College is located in the 800 block of N. Campus Drive.

A settlement has been reached between the estate and family of Braeden Bradforth and Garden City Community College.

Bradforth was a GCCC football player from Neptune, N.J., who died of heatstroke in August 2018.

The settlement was for $500,000 to Bradforth’s estate; his mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram; and his father, Sean Bradforth.

Two days after arriving in Kansas, Bradforth collapsed after struggling through a test during football practice where players were required to run three dozen 50-yard sprints.

On Nov. 15, 2019, the Garden City Telegram reported that an independent study into Bradford’s death found that “key factors in the fatality were the meager oversight of a football conditioning test and lack of overall leadership by the president and other college officials.”

The independent study, conducted by Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP and Rod Walter, of Walter Inc., conflicted with the conclusion of GCCC’s internal examination, the Telegram reported.

GCCC president Ryan Ruda extended his condolences to Bradforth’s family and friends.

“There is no comparison to the grief and sorrow they have experienced over the last two years,” he said. “It is the hope of college leaders, including myself, that the settlement will offer some respite to Braeden’s loved ones who have suffered the most from his untimely passing.”

The college has taken steps and actions to improve protocols that affect student athletes, some of which are directly related to recommendations from the external investigation report.

The changes or improvements include:

• Renovation and updates to athletic training facilities at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex and a second on-site facility adjacent to Broncbuster Stadium.

• A Sports Medicine Advisory Team, which was established on Aug. 20, 2018.

• A third, full-time athletic trainer position.

• First aid and CPR training for all coaching staff to be completed on an annual basis.

• A new strength and conditioning coach who plans and oversees conditioning programs for each athletic team.

• Immediate follow-up welfare checks with players that leave practice.

• Creation of a policy for protocol in recognition and treatment of heat-related illness.

• Creation of an additional GCCC Campus Police personnel position to work toward providing 24/7 coverage on campus.

• Implementation of a new athletic training policies and procedures manual.

• Modified practice times due to heat.

• Purchase of additional ice bathtubs and coordinated tents for use at the stadium during practice and games.

• Implementation of thorough review of the health and physicals of student athletes by team physicians and athletic trainers prior to engaging in any athletic-related activities.