WITN News has learned the entire football coaching staff at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston has been put on probation.
Chuck Carter, of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association, tells WITN News the reason for the probation is the coaching staff's behavior at the Northeast Academy game in Lasker on October 4.
As you'll recall, video shot at that football game between Parrott and the Northeast Academy Eagles shows members of the Parrott coaching staff going onto the field and pushing players.
"They need to avoid doing anything like that again," Carter told WITN. "If not, they are subject to more serious repercussions."
No Parrott coaches or players were ejected from the game. Two Northeast players were ejected from the game.
In a phone interview on October 5, Bert Bright, head football coach and assistant headmaster at Parrott Academy, would not comment on the coaching staff going onto the field. He reiterated that no one from Parrott was ejected, but that two players from Northeast were.
WITN has attempted to contact officials at Parrott Academy today but have been unable to do so. We've left messages.
When asked how often an entire coaching staff is put on suspension, Carter said it happened at another school about a year ago. The NCISAA is an athletic organization for independent schools across the state.
A video posted on youtube.com shows a heated scene on a local football field.
The Northeast Academy Eagles and the Arendell Parrott Academy Patriots of Kinston played Monday night on Eagles’ turf, in the Northampton County town of Lasker.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was rescheduled because of last week’s heavy rains and flooding.
A video posted on youtube.com shows one of the contentious moments of the game, in which players were shoving each other, and coaches and staff went onto the field.
According to the Roanoke Daily Herald newspaper, coaches from Parrott came onto the field on two occasions to separate players and pushed NEA players.
The newspaper reports an official ended up calling the game over with over five minutes left, with NEA beating Parrott 54-21.
Both coaches talked with WITN Tuesday.
"We didn't have any player or coaches ejected, and Northeast Academy had two players ejected," said Bert Bright, head football coach and assistant headmaster at Parrott Academy, when asked about the nature of the game. "When the second Northeast Academy player was ejected, we requested the end of the game."
A short time later, the official called the game.
Bright said the football part of the game was fine, but pushing and shoving was a problem between plays. When asked about coaches going out onto the field, Bright said he had finishing issuing his statement, with no further comment.
Collin Sneed, head football coach of Northeast Academy, also spoke to WITN Tuesday afternoon.
Sneed said everything seemed to be going well during the game, but that the Parrott Academy coaching staff increased complaints to officials as his team took a sizeable lead.
As far as the Northeast Academy players who were ejected, Sneed said he believes the two were responding to pushing and shoving by Parrott players. He said he watched the game tape today, and the play before the first ejection shows a Parrott player sticking his hand in a Northeast Academy player's face mask, as well as pushing.
"I was very surprised there were no ejections for Parrott Academy," Sneed said.
"The video clearly shows a coach putting a hand on a kid," Sneed said. "It's ridiculous that a coach would put a hand on a kid."
Sneed said his team and Parrott are not scheduled to play each other again in the regular season, but it's possible they could meet up in the playoffs.
He also tells WITN his two ejected players, under league rules, can't play in the next game. They are both starters.
Both teams are a part of the NCISAA, the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association, which is an athletic organization for independent schools across the state.