Football Coach Is Replaced After He Forced Student to Eat Pork, Lawyer Says

A highschool soccer coach in Canton, Ohio, and 6 assistant coaches won’t have their athletic contracts renewed, officers stated, after an allegation was made {that a} 17-year-old was pressured to eat pork in opposition to his non secular beliefs as a result of he missed a voluntary follow session.

The Canton City School Board voted 5-Zero on the choice throughout a particular assembly on Thursday, town faculty district stated in an announcement. Marcus Wattley, who was the top soccer coach, and the assistants would not be coaches at Canton McKinley High School or some other faculty within the district, it stated.

The faculty district has additionally filed a report about the matter with the Canton Police Department, which is investigating it as a possible hazing episode. The police didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The vote adopted an incident on May 24, the final day of lessons and 4 days after the scholar, a rising senior, had missed the non-compulsory follow. The scholar was pressured to eat a complete pepperoni pizza, despite the fact that Mr. Wattley and the opposite coaches knew that he didn’t eat pork as a result of he was a Hebrew Israelite, the lawyer for the scholar’s household, Ed Gilbert, stated earlier this week.

According to Mr. Gilbert, the scholar was advised that his teammates could be pressured to do further drills if he didn’t eat the pizza, and that his personal standing with the crew may very well be compromised.

The Canton Repository, a neighborhood newspaper, reported final week on the episode and on the vote on Thursday. It quoted Jeff Talbert, the highschool superintendent, as saying {that a} seventh assistant coach, Badre Bardawil, who additionally had been suspended, would stay an assistant coach as a result of the proof “did not show that he performed in the same manner as the other coaches.”

In its assertion, the college district named Mr. Wattley and 6 assistant coaches: Cade Brodie, Joshua Grimsley, Romero Harris, Frank McLeod, Zachary Sweat, and Tyler Thatcher, who had all been suspended last month after the incident.

Join Michael Barbaro and “The Daily” crew as they rejoice the scholars and academics ending a yr like no different with a particular stay occasion. Catch up with college students from Odessa High School, which was the topic of a Times audio documentary sequence. We will even get loud with a efficiency by the drum line of Odessa’s award-winning marching band, and a particular movie star graduation speech.

Mr. Talbert and officers on the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, a union, couldn’t be reached for touch upon Friday.

On Wednesday, Mr. Talbert stated that additional disciplinary measures would comply with the suspensions. The faculty district assertion described the coaches’ actions as “inappropriate, demeaning, and divisive.”

He stated an investigation discovered that the coaches “engaged in actions that constituted inappropriate, demeaning, and divisive behavior in a misguided attempt to instill discipline in the student-athletes.”

“This behavior will not be tolerated,” he stated.

The scholar met detectives on the Police Department on Friday, Mr. Gilbert stated in an interview. He added that there was a video of the incident, which passed off within the health club.

Mr. Gilbert stated that the coaches got administrative depart with pay. He stated the college board choice utilized to a supplemental contract for teaching, and that contracts for different jobs related with the college have been going to be reviewed. The police investigation is related to a possible hazing, he stated.

The faculty board named the athletic director, Antonio Hall, as its interim head soccer coach. Mr. Hall is a graduate of McKinley High School, a member of the 1997 and 1998 state championship groups, and a former participant within the National Football League.

The president of the board, John Rinaldi, stated the soccer program had a “long and proud history” on the faculty. “We are moving forward, despite this difficult circumstance,” he stated, “and are pleased to announce this new leadership for the football program.”

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