Sutter County school settles athlete mistreatment suit

NICOLAUS, Calif. (AP) – A Northern California school district is paying $40,000 to settle a former football player’s claims that punishment for missing practice turned abusive. The Marysville Appeal-Democrat reports that former East Nicolaus High School player Justin Williams alleged in a Sutter County Superior Court lawsuit that football coach Mark Varnum ordered 11 teammates to tackle him repeatedly in August, leaving him with a partially collapsed lung and concussion. Former Sutter County Sheriff J. Paul Parker had said there wasn’t enough evidence for criminal charges after his office investigated the case. The coach is no longer listed as an employee on the school’s website. Williams will receive about $25,000 of the settlement with the East Nicolaus High School District when he turns 18 after attorney fees and expenses are deducted.

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