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Framingham High School's synthetic field at center of football crisis

by: Jim Morelli Updated:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - The Framingham High School Football team’s season is on hold after a bizarre rash of injuries at practice last week.

Several players reportedly suffered blisters after a drill that involved putting their hands on the school’s synthetic field – which was apparently very hot.

But is that what’s to blame for the injuries?

In 2015, Tracy Stewart raised concerns about excessive heat given off by synthetic fields in Medway.

“I know there’s now products coming out to put in your shoes to shield the heat from the bottom of your feet,” Stewart explained. “If that's something we have to do as a protective piece of equipment for our children then something's wrong.”

In fact, after studying the issue, Medway's board of health voted last year to require warning signs at its synthetic fields.

One of the board members at the time was Jordan Warnick, a retired professor of pharmacology.

“It clearly shows that there is a heat problem on these fields,” he said. “And they should not be played on or practiced on when that temperature is exceeded.”

The signs in Medway read, "These fields are hotter than natural grass!"

That’s to say the least.

We used a heat gun to measure the surface temperature of the synthetic field. On a day when it was about 80 degrees out, the field approached 150 degrees.

Possible heat issue aside, Framingham High's synthetic field is in sorry shape.

A source told FOX25 it's about 15 years old and the school has been trying for three years to get the funds for a replacement.

Sunday morning, Framingham’s football players gathered at the field to rally behind their coaches -- who were reportedly placed on administrative leave. 

Late Sunday, the Framingham public school district sent the following statement:

Framingham Public Schools wants to clarify the on-going investigation into the events of the Framingham High School football practice on August 25th that resulted in injuries to some of our student-athletes. It is standard operating procedure of this district to review any incident that results in student injuries. Our first priority, as always, is to do our best to ensure the safety of students in our care. Given the size and scope of this incident, where there were a number of students and adults involved, we decided it was prudent to cease football activities in order to collect relative information objectively and expediently. Placing staff members on administrative leave is part of this process and should not be deemed as a punitive measure; the goal is to ascertain the facts surrounding an event before reaching any judgment. We are working to complete our investigation in an appropriate and timely fashion in order to draw accurate conclusions. While we are cognizant of the momentary disruption to the football team’s preparation for the upcoming season, the safety of our student-athletes, as well as the rights of our employees, necessitates a modicum of patience while we navigate the remaining steps in the investigation. Any additional pertinent information from our investigation will be shared as is deemed appropriate.