Coach Accused of Licking Player’s Cuts

ordinarypeopleSo wrong, in so many ways.

A state panel plans to investigate a high school football coach who acknowledged licking a bloody cut on the knee of one of his players.

The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission decided to look at the case after a parent complained that Central Linn High School coach Scott Reed’s behavior threatened student safety and health.

Reed, 34, who also teaches science, acknowledged the incident last year after the parent’s complaint. The school district placed him on probation and required him to take a “bloodborne pathogens” course.

Police investigated, but Reed was not arrested. “Sometimes there are actions that are socially unacceptable or bizarre that aren’t necessarily criminal,” Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright said.

The student whose knee was licked told police Reed had given team members a pep talk about a coach licking and healing injured players’ wounds so they could get back in a game.

Team members urged Reed to do the same for a bleeding scab on the student’s knee, and Reed did after asking permission. A witness said Reed seemed to be “joking around” and the licked athlete was not offended, the police report said.

Contacted by The Register-Guard newspaper of Eugene, Reed refused to comment.

Saliva-to-blood contact poses a small risk of disease transmission, said Dr. Sarah Hendrickson, public health officer at Lane County Public Health in Eugene.

“We do know that animals lick their own wounds,” she said. “And it may be that saliva has some healing properties. But my very strong recommendation is that you confine yourself to licking your own wounds.”

The state commission licenses and disciplines teachers and administrators.