A university in Tokyo said Friday it has appointed a team of seven lawyers to get to the bottom of a dirty tackle made by one of its American football team players during an intercollegiate game last month.
The Nihon University set up the third-party panel after two former coaches of the team — head coach Masato Uchida and assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue — received a lifetime ban from competition over the May 6 incident.
The university also said Uchida resigned as a member of its board of directors on Wednesday for “causing tremendous trouble” to the university and outside entities.
He will remain an employee of Nihon University but will be suspended from work for six months, the university said.
The team of lawyers headed by a former senior public prosecutor is expected to investigate whether Uchida and Inoue instructed 20-year-old linebacker Taisuke Miyagawa, to injure the opponent quarterback, as testified by the player in a press conference.
The former coaches and the university have denied the allegation, saying Miyagawa misinterpreted the instructions given by the coaches.
The ruling body for college football in the capital and the surrounding area, which expelled Uchida and Inoue, had conducted its own investigation and concluded that the two ordered the foul play.
The quarterback of Kwansei Gakuin University injured by the foul, Kosei Okuno, has filed a criminal complaint with the police against Uchida and Inoue, while asking investigators to show leniency toward the Nihon University player.
His father, Yasutoshi Okuno, revealed in a Facebook post Friday that his son and Miyagawa have settled the case with Kosei accepting an apology and 300,000 yen ($ 2,760) in compensation from Miyagawa.
(Uchida (R) and Inoue hold a press conference in Tokyo on May 23)