University to pay $14.1 million after college wrestler died during ‘punishment practice’

Grant Brace was 20 years old.

By: Tim Bissell | 3 months ago
University to pay $14.1 million after college wrestler died during ‘punishment practice’

According to CNN The University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky has agreed to pay $14.1 million to the family of Grant Brace. Brace died in 2020 after a so-called ‘punishment practice’ as part of the University’s wrestling team. He was 20 years old.

Brace died of heat stroke. The lawsuit alleged that Brace died after his coaches “ignored” his “deteriorating medical condition throughout practice.”

The practise involved coaches Jordan Countryman and Jake Sinkovics requiring wrestlers to spring up and down ‘punishment hill’ for seven circuits (per Brace completed a number of these circuits before sitting down due to exhaustion.

The lawsuit further alleged that Brace had repeatedly begged for water, but his coaches, who were accused of creating a “toxic and abusive culture”, refused to let him hydrate. His coaches are also accused of not letting anyone help Brace and sending him out of the facility on his own.

The lawsuit states that Brace’s body was discovered close by “with his hands clinched in the grass and dirt after a desperate and erratic search for assistance and water.”

The university claimed that it could have defended the claims made in the lawsuit, but it chose to settle with the Brace family out of respect.

The Brace family has announced that the university will now implement something called the B.R.A.C.E Protocol. That program is designed to educate coaches and athletes on exertional heat strokes in order to prevent others from dying like Brace.

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Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

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