Gopher Head Coach Jerry Kill
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Golden Gophers coach Jerry Kill was back before the media just days after suffering a game-day seizure on the field.
Kill has a history of epileptic seizures which date to the time before he was at Minnesota. In his three seasons in Minnesota, he has suffered three seizures during games at TCF Bank Stadium.
The latest was on Saturday during halftime of the Western Illinois game.
"I think I have done talked about all those other things enough," Kill told reporters at the Nagurski Practice facility on the campus Tuesday."I appreciate everybody's thoughts and things through the weekend. I appreciate that very much, but you know, the press conference today (Tuesday) is about our football players and our football team, who did a great job in Saturday's game."
Kill appeared to be walking slightly slower to regular sports reporters in the room, but displayed no after affects of his illness during the 20-minute question-and-answer period.
Kill did speak briefly with Kare11's Allen Costantini outside the room after the news conference. When asked about a newspaper column's criticism of his seizure-plagued continuation as head coach, Kill simply said "I am comfortable in my skin."
In a Sunday Star Tribune column, Jim Souhan wrote "Kill is unable to fulfill his duties" and "Kill is not healthy enough to lead." Souhan's column added, "No one who buys a ticket to TCF Bank Stadium should be rewarded with the sight of a middle-aged man writhing on the ground."
The newspaper received a deluge of criticism from readers prompting a response in a note to readers from Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes. "On behalf of the Star Tribune, I apologize," she wrote adding, "In no way, did we intend to suggest that people with epilepsy ... should be hidden away."
Barnes also linked to a blog by Souhan in which he responded to the criticism by writing "My opinion on the matter remains the same." However, he wrote "What I have gathered from readers is that they believe I poked fun at Jerry, or demeaned his condition ... I regret that my tone in the column struck some readers that way."
Souhan wrote that he likes Kill and thinks "highly of him as a coach."
Barnes wrote that she has "spoken with the editors who were here (the paper) Saturday, regarding the column."
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