Fuelish error by Utah coach closes down baseball field

Credit: cindydangerjones/Pixabay

Credit: cindydangerjones/Pixabay

A high school baseball coach in Utah apparently made a huge error in the field last month.

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Clearfield High School coach Steve Ross was placed on administrative leave after he allegedly doused the infield dirt with unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel and lit it to dry wet spots on the field, KTVX reported.

"The school district is choosing not to have any games on the field … until the soil is clean," Davis School District Community Relations Supervisor Shauna Lund told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden, Utah.

According a complaint, Ross allegedly poured 15 to 20 gallons of field over several areas, and a strong smell of petroleum was evident when Clearfield played Fremont on March 23, KTVX reported.

"We're not concerned about the people who were there or anything like that," Rachel Blackham, Davis County’s environmental health director, told the television station March 28. “But we are concerned about the product in the soil, you know contaminating the soil and possibly penetrating further down."

Blackham said the incident violates the Davis County Board of Health's Illicit Discharge Regulation 5.1, the Standard-Examiner reported.

According to the newspaper, when coaches or groundskeepers try to use fire to dry out a field, it is only for a small puddle or a muddy spot. The fuel is usually mixed with sawdust, lit on fire, and then raked when the fire is doused.

Ross told the Standard-Examiner that he had been advised by the school district and school administrators not to comment.

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