Miyagawa, a junior, was penalized for unnecessary roughness, but stayed in the game. Later, he was seen on video being congratulated by coaches and teammates when he went to the bench. He was eventually thrown out of the game after he received a third penalty.
The recriminations began soon after the final whistle.
Several Japanese media outlets, citing anonymous former and current players for Nihon, reported that Miyagawa was told to “destroy” the opposing quarterback, or risk being benched.
Masato Uchida, the longtime football coach at Nihon, denied ordering the hit, and said he told his team only to play hard.
In the days that followed, Uchida continued to brush aside suggestions that he ordered the hit, leading to accusations that he was unwilling to take responsibility for the actions of his team. “There are 150 players on my team,” he told reporters. “Each person has their own way of thinking.”
Uchida’s responses infuriated Kwansei officials. The team’s coach, Akira Toriuchi, questioned why, if Uchida did not approve of the violent hit, did he let Miyagawa remain in the game.
“I’ve been coaching football for a long time, but I have never seen such a dangerous play,” Toriuchi told reporters last week. “If that’s allowed, it’s not a sport.”
On Tuesday, Toriuchi said he was appalled by the description of the plot to hurt his quarterback.
Several days after the game, Kwansei Gakuin sent a letter to Nihon University asking for an apology and an explanation. At the same time, the Kanto College Football Association in the Tokyo region suspended Miyagawa indefinitely, and issued a warning to Uchida, his coach. The association has asked a third party to investigate the incident.