May 25, 2018
Tokyo- Nihon University officials were questioned by the Japan Sports Agency on Thursday about a controversial dangerous tackle by a player of the university's American football team that injured an opponent player.
During a match in Tokyo on May 6, a quarterback of the Kwansei Gakuin University Fighters was hit from behind by the player of the Nihon University Phoenix, about two seconds after throwing the ball. The quarterback suffered damage to his back and knee that will take three weeks to fully heal.
Also on Thursday, the Nihon University side submitted its second written reply to Kwansei Gakuin University's inquiry about the dirty play.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the Phoenix player said he made the dangerous tackle at the instruction of the coaching staff, including then Nihon University Phoenix coach Masato Uchida.
According to informed sources, the contents of the second reply are broadly in line with what Uchida said at a press conference Wednesday evening.
At the press conference, Uchida, who resigned as the Phoenix's coach after the match in question, and assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue denied having instructed the player to injure the quarterback.
Two senior Nihon University officials visited the sports agency on Thursday after the agency on Wednesday requested an interview.
"The coaching staff should be held responsible for the fact that such a play was committed by one of their players," Daichi Suzuki, commissioner of the agency, said Thursday morning.
Submitting the same written reply to the agency, Nihon University explained developments related to the incident, preventive measures and plans to start an investigation by a third-party committee.
The agency asked Nihon University to complete the investigation as soon as possible. But the university did not present a schedule of the probe, saying members of the committee have yet to be fixed.
Meanwhile, Uchida was hospitalized in Tokyo after Wednesday's press conference, according to a spokesman of Nihon University.
The Kwansei Gakuin University side plans to hold a press conference on Saturday with the attendance of the injured player's father, Yasutoshi Okuno.
The father has filed a damage report with the Osaka prefectural police department. Jiji Press
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