- PHILLIPS: Liberal lawyers ensuring illegal aliens are never deported
- Chris Christie leading N.H. GOP presidential field; Mitt Romney lingers large
- NYC creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- Florida judge slaps GOP’s redistricting plans: You ‘made a mockery’ of process
- Muslims give Obama high marks over first half of 2014
- Pennsylvania sends draft notices to 14K dead men
- KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’
- Texas shooting suspect had faced other charges
- Californian who sold secret to China sentenced to 15 years in prison
- Couple, 3 kids among 7 killed in Massachusetts apartment fire
Tenn. coach resigns amid vandalism scandal
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - A botched attempt to fire up a Tennessee high school football team has forced out the head coach and his three assistants _ two of whom are accused of vandalizing their own field house, and the third, who authorities say broke into a rival school to steal the opponent’s playbook.
Marion County Schools superintendent Mark Griffith confirmed Wednesday that head coach Mac McCurry resigned during a meeting with Griffith and the school principal. McCurry also resigned from his job as a physical education teacher.
“This is truly a shocking and tragic event … very troubling,” Griffith said.
On Nov. 1, administrators arrived to see the Marion County field house defaced before its District 2-A championship game against South Pittsburg, which ended up winning, 35-17. Officials said vulgarities were painted on side doors and the backside of the field house in South Pittsburg’s colors, orange and black. Officials estimated the damage totaled several thousand dollars.
Assistant coach Michael Schmitt was arrested last week on a charge of vandalism of $1,000 to $10,000, and assistant Joe D. Gudger was arrested Tuesday on the same charge, according to the Marion County Circuit Court clerk’s office. Gudger also has been charged with unlawful possession of alcohol on school grounds.
The Associated Press was unable to immediately find phone numbers for Gudger or Schmitt. The AP could not determine if they have lawyers.
Later Tuesday, assistant Tim Starkey was relieved of his coaching duties after it was learned through text message records that he had broken into the field house of cross-town rival South Pittsburg and stolen play sheets and game plans in the week before the game, officials said.
Authorities have not said whether Starkey faces charges, but Griffith said he is being investigated. The Jasper Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.
Following Schmitt’s arrest, county investigators say they pulled his cellphone records and discovered conversations between Schmitt and other coaches discussing painting the field house and making it look like supporters of South Pittsburg, a school of about 360 students, were the culprits, officials have said.
Officers involved in the arrest have said the vandalism was an attempt to inspire the Marion County team, which is scheduled to compete in a playoff game this Friday. Four assistants remain on the coaching staff, and a search is beginning for a new head coach and physical education teacher for the high school, Griffith said.
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association assistant executive director Matthew Gillespie said the organization is monitoring the situation and has spoken with officials at the high school and school district. He said any penalties would come only after the investigation is finished.
“We’re going to let the criminal investigation and the justice system work it out first,” Gillespie said.
The saga at Marion County High School, a school of about 500 students, is the latest ugly headline in a recent run of bad behavior by football players and coaches from the pros on down.
In a bullying scandal in Florida, a Miami Dolphins player has alleged he was harassed daily by teammates.
Senate majority leader practices politics of personal destruction
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Va. Democrat reportedly seeks nude shots of Kendall Jones
- Obama seeks brisk passage of border children funding bill
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- IRS employee suspended for pro-Obama activities
- BRUCE: The feds plot to steal your paycheck
- New York City creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- Bush fixed bowling lanes that Obama wants to renovate
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Amid border crisis, Obama to take 15-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs