A Colorado football coach who was accused of choking a student and kneeing him in the groin during a weightlifting class was finally handed his punishment on Wednesday, receiving a one-year suspended sentence in a plea deal that should ensure he escapes time in prison with good behavior.
As reported by Denver ABC affiliate KMGH, Niwot football coach Dylan Hollingsworth pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, a first-degree misdemeanor, and harassment, a third-degree misdemeanor, diminished counts from the original charges of second- and third-degree assault, including a felony.
The catalyst behind the entire incident was Hollingsworth’s insistence that students not use profanity during his weightlifting class. When one of his charges disobeyed and swore while singing a song shortly after being warned not to, Hollingsworth apparently snapped, “placing pressure to the student’s larynx, causing the student to struggle to breathe,” and then kneeing him in the groin.
The coach has been on leave since November, when the incident unfolded in front of a class of 25 students. With the Boulder school district on a spring break recess, it remains uncertain whether Hollingsworth will now be offered an opportunity to return to the classroom and sideline, or if his teaching and coaching career in the district is effectively ended by the plea bargain.