Kill takes needed leave

The University should still be critical of Kill’s position while he is on a leave of absence.

Daily Editorial Board

Head football coach Jerry Kill decided last week to take a leave of absence and focus on his epilepsy treatment.

Kill’s absence is the right move after five public, game-day seizures in two and half seasons with the Gophers. Kill missed an entire game for the first time in his career after reporting that he wasn’t feeling well before the Gophers’ Oct. 5 trip to
Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Minnesota defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who will serve as interim head coach, said in an interview with the Minnesota Daily that missing the game may have been the deciding factor in Kill’s decision to take a leave of absence.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but the right decision,” Kill said in a statement distributed by the University of Minnesota.

It appears that Kill’s epilepsy is getting worse. It is possible Kill has seizures that aren’t public that continue to affect his ability to coach.

At a press conference Thursday, Claeys said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Kill returning for the Gophers’ next game, on Oct. 19 at Northwestern. We should not expect Kill to return so soon — he should not risk returning to
the field too early.

However, not having our head football
coach — paid $1.2 million annually — is a problem for the University. If Kill returns and his health does not improve, the University should have a serious conversation about his ability to coach.

Kill is on record saying he couldn’t continue to miss parts of games. While we hope Kill’s absence allows him to treat his epilepsy and control his seizures, the University must also have the well-being of the Gophers in mind.