Star Tribune editor apologizes for columnist’s remarks about football coach’s seizure

souhanAfter University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill suffered an epileptic seizure during Saturday’s game – his third in three years – Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan (left) wrote that “Kill is not healthy enough to lead” and “even those who admire him most can’t believe that he should keep coaching major college football after his latest episode.”

Souhan received “a few thousand” emails about his column, and a public scolding of sorts from Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes.

Dear Readers:

Nancy Barnes

Nancy Barnes

Many of you have written over the weekend to express your anger or concern regarding Jim Souhan’s columns and blog posts following Coach Kill’s seizure during Saturday’s football game. On behalf of the Star Tribune, I apologize. In no way did we intend to suggest that people with epilepsy, or other disabilities, should be hidden away. Nor did we intend to be callous or insensitive to their struggles.

I have spoken with the editors who were here Saturday, regarding the column, and Jim has posted his own response to readers, which you can find here.

Coach Kill is brave to battle this disease so publicly, and to share that battle with us. Just a month ago, we ran a Sunday front page story chronicling his struggles to get his seizures under control, and his efforts to balance that with his passion for football. If any good comes of the anger readers have expressed, I hope it’s that the broader community comes away with a better understanding of epilepsy and those who struggle to bring it under control.

Thank you sharing your thoughts and concerns with me.


Nancy Barnes