cook, jason coach | Detective | Football Codes

September 19, 2008

Today's date is September 19th, 2008. Time now is 0932 hours. My name is Detective Terry Jones, my code number's #6354. I'm with the Louisville Metro Police Department. This interview pertains to Case File #08-197. It is a death investigation involving victim Max Gilpin. this interview is of Mr. Jason Cook, and we are currently at JCTA, at the Waterson Towers, conducting the interview with him. Present during this interview is his attor...uh, the...Mr. Mark Miller, an attorney...and uh...

Jones

Mr. Cook...are you...and also present is, is uh, uh...my sergeant, Denny Butler. And uh, Mr. Cook, are you aware this interview is being taped? Yes. Okay. Uh, does it meet with your approval? Yes, sir. Okay. Uh, Mr. Miller, you acknowledge that you are here... I so acknowledge. Yes. Okay. And Sgt. Butler. Yes. My code number is #6084.

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Page 2 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Okay. Uh, at this time, Mr. Cook, can you identify yourself? Yes. Uh, my name is uh, Jason Cook. Okay. Your date of birth? Is And address? 7026 Alma June Kentucky, 40228. And phone number? It's area code Okay. And at this time, uh, uh...goin' back to Au...August 20th, 2008, at which time uh, you were a coach at the uh, Pleasure Ridge Park High School...uh, uh...football team, you were coaching uh, uh...the football team at practice...if you would, on that particular day, August 20th, uh, just describe what events took place that day. Just start, from start to finish. Uh, we started out on the football field at approximately 4 o'clock. Uh, I led the students in some stretching and pre-game exercises...uhm, after the stretching period was over with, we went to our team take-off period, which is where we run plays against air. Uh, the students were given a water break. Then after the team take-off period, uh, the students were then...we went to our individual group period...uh, in which we do our birddog exercises, where the students get down and uh, Way, uh, Louisville,

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Page 3 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

in a stance and fire off the football. Uhm, after the...after the birddog uh, period, uh, the students were given another water break. Then uh, we went to uh, another individual period with the running backs, which uh, this is called our buck drill, uh, which the students uh, the offensive linemen are with the running backs. Uhm, that period lasted approximately 20 minutes. Uh, after the buck drill was over with, uh, the students were given a water break. Then we went to uh, a uh, kind of a walk-through period uh, where the students uh, ran...walk through their assignments uh, on certain plays. Then we were going, uh, then, after the walk-through period, uhm, the students were given a water break. Then uh, we went to uh, we were going to start our team period and then instead of going to uh, the team period, we started our conditioning period. And that conditioning period lasted approximately 25 minutes. Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook Okay. Uh, Mist...Coach Cook, if I can refer back to times... ...Yes... ...you said practice started at 6...at 4 o'clock? Yes. Approximately 4 o'clock. Yes, sir. And, and it involved team stretching. Correct? Yes, sir. As a team. As a team.

Page 4 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Okay. And uh, Team #1, you got varsity...is Team #2 JV... ...Um-hmm... ...and Team #3 is freshmen. Freshmen. Yes. Okay. And your position is...what is your position there? I'm the off...the, one of the offensive line coaches. Of the two offensive lines? Yes, sir. And who's the second one? Uh, Adam Donnelly. Okay. And how long have you been a, a coach? Uh, for six years. Okay. Has PRP been the only school you've coached at? Uh, no, sir, it has not. Okay. Uhm, I coached for two years at New Albany High School in southern Indiana and then

Page 5 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

coached for one year uh, at Hazelwood Junior High School. Jones Cook Okay. And was it the same offensive line that you coached or a different, a different... Uh, when I was at New Albany High School, I was the offensive line...assistant offensive line coach, and when I was at Hazelwood Junior High School, I was the head uh, coach for the seventh grade football team. Okay. Uh, so the first water break after the practice had started at 4, was at 4:30? Uh, yes, approximately. Yes, sir. And uh, and roughly the team well, it was as individual or as a group? Uh, that was as a group. Now I mean we're, we're saying "group" I mean is that a particular group that you're assigned to... ...This would be the... ...like the li...linemen? Yes. Yes...this would be the, after the... ...Right... ...the first water break was with the entire offensive side. Okay.

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Page 6 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook

So that would be the offensive linemen, the running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. Um-hmm. Uh, so it's safe to say that while your group was takin' a break the other players could still be doin' their exercises. Correct? Or... ...Uh... ...in their particular pods they can do... Or, or the, the defensive line, we usually all finish at the same time. Okay. Uh, because the defense is on one side during team take-off and the offense is on another side of the field. But the water break was determined by your, your group... ...Uh... ...because you had already completed your assignment... ...Yes... ...based on what y'all had to accomplish... ...Yes. Yes. So there still I could have been another group

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Page 7 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

doin' their exercises or doin' their drills... Cook Jones Cook Jones ...Uh... ...and not takin' a break with you guys? Is that correct? Uh, yes. Yes. Okay. Okay...so uh, goin', goin' back to the field, just takin' a water break and you go to the individual period... Yes... ...and is that in full gear? Yes, it is. And individual period is, is what...if you may describe it to me, please. Uh, the individual period uh, during...this particular day we did our birddogs... ...Okay... ...which is the students uh, get down in the three-point stance and we blow the whistle three times and they practice firing off the football. Okay. And this is full gear? Uh, yes, sir. Okay. And uh, and you were assisted by Coach Donnelly?

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Page 8 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Yes, sir. In conducting these drills? Yes, sir. Uh, was...what was Max Gilpin's position on the team? Uh, Max Gilpin kil...was an offensive tackle. Okay. And you had observed him during the drill? Was he in Team #1 or Team #2 or what? Uh, he would have been in Team uh, he would have rotated between the JV, which is Team #2, and Team #3, the freshmen. So he would have rotated between those two uh, just depending on who, who was at practice that day. Okay. Okay...and sometimes they fill in for other people who are not there? Okay. ...Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Okay. Uh, so Max is in #2 or #3 and uh, you're in to the birddog uh, uh...conditioning, uh, uh...conditioning or however you describe it... Uh... Yes, sir. And what happens after that? Uh, after the birddog uh, conditioning, or that birddog part of the individual period was over with, we sent these students to a water break...

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Page 9 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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As individual or a... As a, as a, as an individual, as our group. Okay. As the offensive linemen. And that was what time for that break? Uhm, I would say that that would have been approximately maybe 4:30, 4:35... Okay. Just tryin' to think. Okay. Stretching...team take-off... ...And this would be your second break now. Yes. Okay. Yes. So the first, the first break was at what time? the first, the first water break would have been after team take-off, which would have been at around 4:30, 'cause we stretch for 15 and... ...Okay...

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Page 10 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook Jones Cook

...then team take-off would have been for 15. Okay. So 4:30 is the first one... ...and then...yes, and then 4:45 would have, approximately 4:45 would have been the second water break. Okay. Okay, and what happens after you return back from this water break? Uhm, after we return from back from the birddogs or the water break, we went in to a second individual period with the running backs... Okay. Uhm, that was our buck drill. Okay. Uhm, and it's just a play that we run... ...Okay... ...and just uh, it's an assignment... And that's what the linemen and offensive backs? Yes, sir. Okay. Uh, and what time...what did you do after that? Uh, after the buck drill uh, period, we took a water break...

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Page 11 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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As a team or as individuals? Uhm, as, as...that would have been with the offensive linemen and the backs. Okay. So it's... And let me get clear. I'm sorry... ...No, no...go right ahead. ...Let me interrupt you... ...Um-hmm... ...When, when a team is taking water breaks, is someone there to say, to see how much water each player is getting? They're on their own. Right? So... ...Yes. Yes... ...and the water area is described as what? Uh, the water area is...it's... ...I mean describe what's (inaudible) how... Uh, there are four uh, PVC pipes... ...Okay... ...uhm, it's shaped in the shape of a rectangle... ...Okay...

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Page 12 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook

...with holes drilled in 'em...uh, I would say that there's pro'bly 12 to 15 holes that are drilled in to the pipes... ...Okay... ...and there's a hose connected to a water spigot. Okay. And when the spigot is turned on, the water shoots through the PVC pipe. So it's almost like there's 15 water fountains. Okay. So when a team...when, when your group broke as, as to get water, uh, uh...was anything else taking place at the time? Like a soccer game? Yes. There was a, there was a soccer game getting ready to begin. Okay. And what, what position, where were you guys at during the course of your practice? Uh, we were on our practice field. I'm, I'm sorry...uh, uh...near the tree...tree or in the middle or near the park? Oh, we were uh, at this point uh, during the birddogs, we would have been uh, under uh, near the tree on the far side of the practice field... ...Okay...

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Page 13 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook

...uh, and then during the individual, the buck drill, we would have been in the uh, in the middle of the field on the far, on the far side line. And when you took that break uh, they would have been in the middle and... ...Yes... ...and they, they were allowed to walk over? Yes. Yes. And other...you know, nobody's watchin' over 'em... ...No... ...just kinda guidin', tell 'em to go get some water and come on back... ...Yeah, just, you get it as, as much as you want. Okay. Uh, you know, make...a lot of the kids were uh, fillin' up their helmets and... ...Okay. Does any uh, do you know if uh, who took the hy...hydrometer reading that day? Uh, yes. Coach Stinson did. Okay. And that was prior to practice or during practice?

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Page 14 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Uh, that was prior to practice and during practice. Okay. And where would he have been if, when he took those, those readings? Uh, he would have been in the vicinity of the, the shelter... ...Okay. ...uh, the, well, or not the shelter...the uh, storage shed. Okay. And who records the reading? Uh, Coach Stinson does. Okay. Uh, now when a team got water, uh, you said the soccer game was gettin' ready to take place and there were se...there were several spectators there?... ...Yes, sir...uh, yes. How many, would you say, was there? Uh, I would say maybe approximately 50 to 75. Okay. So the players had to walk between them to get to the water? yes. They, they walked around the perimeter of the soccer field to get, to go get water... ...Okay. And the soccer field is right next to

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Page 15 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

this practice field. Cook Jones Yes, it is. Okay. So the team got water and everyone came back uh, does anyone ask him is everyone okay...did anyone get water, one get enough water? Is that asked of 'em? Uh, I, I did. I, you know... ...Okay. ...I asked my, you know, offensive linemen... ...Okay. So you said they have water in the helmets (inaudible) and everything. ...Yes... Okay. So you got back to the practice at this time and then what, what takes place then? Uh, next would have been a walk-through, just a brief walk-through period... ...Okay... ...uhm, an assignment period uh, where the students are asked to just walk...we would line up to run a play and the students would walk to their assignment. Okay. Uh, and then that period lasted maybe ten minutes and the students were sent for another

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Page 16 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

water break before... Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook Jones Cook ...As a team or as individuals? Uhm, as individual. Individual groups. As individual with the uh, my offensive linemen. Or our offensive linemen. And what time do you think that break would have been? Uh, that break would have happened around 5:20. Okay. So that would have been your third break. Right? Yes. Okay. So they return and then what? And then we were getting ready to start our team period... ...Okay... ...uhm, and then that's when we uh, did not do our team period and went to our conditioning period. And who, whose idea or whose decision was that? Uh, that would have been Coach Stinson's.

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Page 17 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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And is there any reason behind that? Uh, practice was becoming lackadaisical... ...Okay... ...and uh, so I think he, we just decided to go to our conditioning period. Did the team practice the day before on Tuesday? Uh, yes, sir, it did. They did practice the day before? Yes, sir. How many days a week do they have practice? Uh, we practice uh, five days a week. Okay. Now that we're in the season, uh, it will be uh, four days a week. Okay. Uh, and...yeah, four days a week. Okay. So Coach Stinson calls the team uh, blows the whistle or whatever, and says on line? Yes, sir. And that is considered the conditioning period.

Cook Jones

Page 18 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Yes, sir. And you stated that the uh, the, the training was lacodasic...or the players... ...Yes. ...was kinda just kinda... ...Um-hmm... ...not responding... ...Yes, sir. Not doing things properly? And uh, that was around 5:25 when coach called this? Yes. Okay. Is that correct? Yes. Okay. And they ran conditioning, and describe what is conditioning? Uh, our conditioning are gassers, uh, which the students start on one side of the field, uh, the, and they run the width of the field, they run over and back and over and then back again. Okay. Now some of these...and that's considered one gasser. Right? Yes, sir.

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Page 19 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Jones

Now you, you stated some of 'em are with, are with, you informed me that some of 'em are not...with, without equipment? Uh, uh...no, at this point, at this point the students are in full gear. Okay. Uh, the students are in full gear...uhm, and then they ran eight in full gear and then uh, they ran two without their helmets, and then they ran two without helmets or shoulder pads. Okay. And uh, during the running of gassers, uh, what was your position at the time the team was running gassers? Uh, I was lining the field. I was chalking the field. Okay. So you did not participate in it. Uh, no. Okay. and who was participating...what coaches were participating in the running of gassers for the team? Uhm, it would have been uh, Coach Stinson... ...Okay... ...uh, Coach Donnelly... ...Okay... ...uh, Bobby Deacon...Coach Bobby Deacon...

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Page 20 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Jones Cook

...Okay... ...uh, Coach Steve was in the locker-room and Coach Hiser had left. And Coach Lightle was... ...And... ...was at uh, was there during the, the period. Okay. The conditioning period. And Lightle, he was on, his position would have been where, as it relates to those gassers? Uh, he would have been on the starting line. He would have been where the students start. And Coach Donnelly would have been where? On the opposite line. Uh, Coach Stinson would have been where? Was in the middle of the field. Okay. And now you said Deacon, are we referring to Bobby or, or Steve? Bobby. Bobby, coach Bobby. Bobby Deacon would have been where? He was, he was on the starting line uhm, walking in, on the starting line with the

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Page 21 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

freshmen, walking out and then walking back...he was with the freshmen. Jones Cook Jones Okay. Good. Okay. And how many gassers do you think the team ran? Uh, 12. And when they're running gassers, do they run 'em altogether or is there like different groups that run 'em? There's, there are different groups. Uh, the linemen...the offensive linemen and defensive linemen run in a group... ...Okay... ...and then the running backs and defensive backs... ...Okay... ...run in a group. And how many minutes do you think the team ran gassers? Uh, approximately 25. Okay. Okay...and at any point, did you see any players become ill? Uhm, I noticed one student towards the end uh, vomit. And was he a white male player...black male player...

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Page 22 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Uh, African-American male. Okay. And you don't know who that player was? Uh, no, sir, I do not. Okay. And was there another player that got ill or needed some assistance? Uhm, there was...after, after...uh, not during the conditioning, no. Okay. During the conditioning period, no. Uh, did a player need an inhaler or anything? Yes. Uh, after the uh, after the freshmen uh, Coach Deacon asked me...Coach Bobby Deacon asked me to get uh, Jacob Heeley his inhaler. Uh... ...Okay... ...which we have on the practice field with us. Okay. And you stated that you didn't know uh, if Max, you didn't know when Max Gilpin became ill? Uh, no, sir, I do not. On the... The only time that I knew that Max uh, had

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Page 23 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

gotten ill was when I saw him being loaded in to the ambulance. Jones Cook Jones Okay. Uh, let me back up just, just this last question... ...Um-hmm... ...and I'll hand it on to Sgt. Butler. While the team was running gassers or, or...or conditioning...let's say...let's go back before the conditioning. Your uh, you were, you had the offensive line. Correct? Yes, sir. And, and Max was part of your offensive line... ...Yes, sir... ...in one form or another, in one of the teams... Um-hmm. ..did he exhibit any unusual behavior...any illnesses or anything? Uh, no, sir. He did not. Did he require an excessive amount of water... ...Uh... ...did he want water at any time? Max never asked me for any additional water besides the breaks that were given...

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Page 24 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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...Okay... ...uh, to the team. Okay. And, and Max, as well as the other players, uh, uh...uh, participated in every drill... ...Yes, sir... ...up to the gassers... ...Yes, sir... ...and the gassers is, is when some players became ill... Yes... ...and you described at least one player needed an inhaler and one needed, he vomited. Yes. But you didn't personally witness Max becoming ill. No, sir, I did not. Okay. Uh, I don't have anything else. Sgt. Butler? I do. Uh, Denny Butler speaking. 1630, you take a water break... ...Um-hmm... 1645 we take a water break...

Page 25 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook Butler Cook Butler Cook Butler Cook

...Um-hmm. 1710. Yes. Did we take a water break then? Uh, that would have been around...sorry...is that 5? (Laughs). Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. Sorry about that. (Laughs). Uh, that uh, around, no, we would have taken a water break around 5:20, before...I would have sent...after we did our walk-through period, I would have sent, I sent the kids to go get a water break before the start of team period. And would that be seven on seven? Uh, that would have been 11 on 11. Okay. Uh, the offense against the defense. Okay. And you and Coach Donnelly are with the offensive/defensive line. Uh, yes, sir. okay. And at 5:20... ...Yes...we sent, we... ...that group? Who sent them?

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Page 26 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Uh, I did. Okay. I did. I sent...I sent uh, offensive line and defensive uh, to get a water break... ...Okay... ...before uh, before the team period began. Okay. And Max is offensive tackle... Yes, sir. Christian Vincent... Yes. He is a defensive lineman. Okay. Deandré Cole. Defensive lineman. Okay. Would they have been in the same group that would have taken the break? Uh, I believe so, yes. Should have been. Okay. You start conditioning, you start chalking the field. Correct? Yes, sir. And how, ex...where's the chalk kept? It's the uhm, the...I get the chalk out of the shed.

Page 27 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Butler Cook

Okay. Uh, the...and it's just a walk spray-paint uh, sprayer and I am chalking the field. I'm lining the field as the, during the conditioning period. The outer perimeter or no? Uh, the outer perimeter and the, the lines. Okay. The, the yard markers. In the conditioning? Yes. Who's counting the number of gassers? Uh, that would be Coach Stinson. Okay. How, do you personally know that they ran 12? Uh, I've got a...uh, yes. How do, how do you know that? Uh, I took a, I can't say for sure that they ran 12. Uh, but... ...Your focus is lining the field. Uh, my focus is lining the field. Yes, sir. Okay. Uh, you see a player get sick...

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Page 28 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook Butler Cook

...Yes... ...who, who's with that player? Uhm, at this point, uh, at this point I see the, the player get sick and uhm, that is at the end of, at the end of the conditioning period. Okay. When the, when the player got sick. then... But you're still lining... ...Yes, sir... ...the field. Yes, sir. Was anybody attending to that... ...I cannot... ...sick player? ...I cannot say. I cannot say. Was Coach Stinson aware that player was sick? I believe he was. Yes. Well, why do you think that? I, I don't know, I would assume that he would, I don't know. And

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Page 29 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Okay. Coach Donnelly aware? Uh, I couldn't say. Coach Lightle? I could not say. Okay. Uh, in the field you've got the soccer side of the field... Yes, sir... ...and you got the, and that's where they're starting from. Yes. Running the conditioning. Yes. Coach Stinson is located where? At the center of the field? In the center of the field. Coach Donnelly is on the... ...on the opposite side... ...opposite side... ...Yes, sir... ...and Coach Lightle is where?

Page 30 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

Cook Butler Cook

Is on the...on the sou...on the starting side. Do you know which end? Uh, I wanna say kinda in the middle, but closer towards...'cause here are the freshmen and then the varsity, and I think he's between the freshmen and the varsity. Okay. You're chalking the field... Yes. At some point Coach Bobby Deacon comes to you and says... ...Af, this is after, after uh, when I am taking the chalker back to the shed...he asks me to get uh, an inhaler for Jacob Heeley. Okay. Do you know Antonio Calloway? Uh, yes, I do. Was he ill at any point? Uh, I did not see Antonio get ill. Okay. Uh... ...Or was he being attended to by any of the coaches? Uh, I can...I did not see it. Okay. Uh, do you know of any other player

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Page 31 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

that was being attended to by any coaches, like...like Coach Bobby's workin' with Heeley, the freshman. Cook Butler Cook Um-hmm. Were any of the other coaches attending to any players? Uhm, I would assume that at this point, once the conditioning is over with uhm, I would assume that the coaches have...are with Max. I was not with Max. I did not see Max go, I did not see Max collapse, uh, so I do not, I could not answer that, on what I saw. That's all the questions I have. I've just got one quick one. Uh, during the course of the uh, the conditioning again, uh, you said they're not timed. Correct? No. Uh, and the team has an agenda to follow and, and... Yes. Was this considered a good practice or bad practice that day? ...Uh, this...this would have been considered a, not very good practice. Okay. And that's the reason why the conditioning started early.

Butler Jones

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Page 32 of 32 Statement: Coach Jason Cook / Case #08197(a) September 19, 2008

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Uh, I would assume, yes. And, and the conditioning was much earlier than a normal practice? Uh, yes. Okay. Okay...uh, I don't have anything else. Uh, Sgt. Butler, follow-up? I do not. Uh, Coach Cook, if there's, if there's anything we didn't ask you, anything else important that we didn't cover, anything you wanna add? Uh, no, sir. Okay. Uh, Mr. Miller? No, I have nothing. Okay. I thank you for your time, Coach Cook. And we'll go off record. The time now is 9:57.

Cook Jones Miller Jones

END OF STATEMENT File #08197ajones-ks

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