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Idaho State football coach Mike Kramer will not face criminal charges after pushing down wide receiver Derek Graves during a practice on Oct. 3.
"We could have filed a misdemeanor battery charge. Would it have withstood a motion to dismiss? Maybe it would have and maybe not," Pocatello, Idaho, city attorney Dean Tranmer said. "We also factor in whether it's worth the time and manpower to justify a trial. We believe the public would be better served by Derek Graves, coach Kramer and the university settling this themselves."
Kramer was suspended for one game by Idaho State, which said the coach had violated the university's conduct policy.
In deciding whether to file criminal charges, Tranmer said, "We didn't feel Kramer intended to inflict a personal injury on Graves. It was an unfortunate occurrence, which Kramer apologized for to Graves and the entire team a short time after it happened."
Graves had filed a complaint with the Pocatello city police and also has retained sports attorney Don Jackson.
Jackson issued a statement reacting to the decision not to charge Kramer.
"It has been apparent for weeks the Pocatello city attorney was hesitant to pursue charges against this head coach," the statement said. "The bottom line fact of the matter is that Derek Graves was attacked and injured at the hands of his head football coach. The ISU team doctor recently attested to this in writing in a statement supporting a medical redshirt and has refused to clear the young man for game competition."
It concluded: "An apology does not lessen the impact of this coach's conduct nor does it lessen the university's responsibility to protect its students from this type of conduct or minimize the degree of culpability by this perpetrator. This incident is a black eye on collegiate sports and an example of everything that is WRONG with college athletics."
Kramer suspended Graves from the team indefinitely Nov. 1. A letter sent to Graves said it was for repeatedly being late for practice. Graves denied being warned about being late.
At the time, Idaho State assistant athletic director for media relations Steve Schaack said Graves had been suspended "for a violation of team rules."
After the Oct. 3 incident, Graves told "Outside The Lines" that Kramer became irate when Graves said he preferred to face one of the team's veteran cornerbacks instead of a freshman cornerback during one-on-one drills in practice. When Graves tried waving over one of the older cornerbacks to face him, he said Kramer marched across the field and said, "He's a varsity f---ing player," before pushing Graves. Graves said Kramer cursed again while he was on the ground.
Graves said he suffered a neck injury. He has not played since.
Graves had 36 receptions in Idaho State's first four games, including back-to-back games with 15 catches.