LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) – The Ronald E. McNair Middle School coach who was accused last week of assaulting a player during practice will be able to return to teaching after the criminal case against him was dismissed.
A 13-year-old boy was taken to the hospital in Lake City for head pain last week after reporting he'd been shaken up by a coach at football practice.
The teen did not have any visual injuries when police were called to Lake City Community Hospital Tuesday night, but he was complaining of moderate head pain. Before his family drove him there, he said he was dizzy, then fell down and began shaking.
According to the report from Lake City Police, the teen says his symptoms were a result of an assault at football practice earlier that day. While kneeling on the field, he says a coach got frustrated with him, pushed him down, shook him by his helmet and jerked him upright by his pads.
The teen says that coach threatened to make the whole team "run to the fence." He told his family what happened when he got home after practice.
Florence County School District Three confirmed the coach is Chris Fuecker and released the following statement about the incident, which allegedly took place at Ronald E. McNair Middle School:
Florence County School District Three is cooperating fully with law enforcement's investigation into an alleged assault on a football player at Ronald E. McNair Middle School by an assistant coach. The district also is conducting an internal investigation into the allegation. The assistant coach has been placed on paid administrative leave from coaching duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
Florence County District Three spokesperson Brian Huckabee later confirmed Fuecker was also placed on administrative leave from teaching duties the following day.
Lake City Police investigated the incident and decided not to pursue charges against Fuecker, according to Huckabee, and the district reinstated him from administrative leave for teaching duties at the middle school, effective Thursday, October 17.
"He will now return to the classroom, but will not return to coaching football this season because the student who made the allegations is a member of the team," Huckabee stated. "The district feels it is in everyone's best interest that he not return to coaching this season."
A woman named Shanda Wahab said her son plays on the same football team as the alleged victim. Wahab said she is unaware of her son having any trouble with any of the coaches for the team.
"He thinks very highly of his coaches. He hasn't experienced any of that or else he would've told me," Wahab said.
Wahab said there is a fine line between someone being a coach, and being too aggressive.
"I want them to treat them as I would. I realize it's football so they're not gonna hold their hand, but I don't want them to be smacked around or jerked on," Wahab said.