Cyclones Tight Ends Coach Sued for Allegedly Forcing Athlete at Former School to Play Injured

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Alex Golesh. Photo: Iowa State University

Alex Golesh, a tight ends coach for the Iowa State University football team, is one of seven defendants in a lawsuit filed Friday by former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offensive lineman Anthony Durkin, who alleges he was forced to return to early from an injury, eventually losing his scholarship as a result, when Golesh was a coach under then-head coach Tim Beckman, who is also a defendant in the suit.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday that the suit accuses Golesh, Beckman, and a former athletic director at the university of negligence for forcing him to return to the field against team doctors’ advice after undergoing an operation for should dislocation known as Bankart repair:

Durkin was advised by team doctors to rehabilitate from the operation through spring 2014, the suit said. However, former head coach Tim Beckman and former coach Alex Golesh, growing impatient with having so many players injured, ordered the doctors to clear him for practice.

Beckman was fired from his post at Illinois in Aug. 2015 for his “efforts to deter injury reporting influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries,” the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported.

The suit further claims that Durkin’s shoulder injury was exacerbated as a result, and after another surgery in November 2015 doctors not with the university told the former athlete he “should expect issues with his shoulder” to “recur for the rest of his life.”

It also alleges that Golesh, along with the former AD, head coach, and team doctors, breached their contract by eventually forcing Durkin to “sign a release of his scholarship against school policy.”

Golesh came to ISU to work under the struggling team’s new head coach, Matt Campbell; the two previously coached together when they were both assistants on the coaching staff at the University of Toledo’s football team.

The Informer has reached out to ISU for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.