Tennessee basketball coach reassigned amid rape, hazing scandal
(CNN) — A Tennessee basketball coach has been reassigned and a school superintendent has apologized for not speaking out sooner, weeks after an Ooltewah High School freshman said he was raped by his teammates.
Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith, who last week canceled the rest of the basketball season, said during a press conference Monday that he regrets not publicly addressing the issue earlier.
He should have canceled the basketball season as soon as he heard about the alleged attack, he said. The superintendent said when he canceled the season that his decision was not a reflection on the coaching staff, but was necessary so that investigators can do their job.
Coach Andre Montgomery has since been moved to another position within the school system where he will not interact with students during the investigation.
“I don’t want anyone to think he’s being punished or penalized. … If we find other reasons to address the coach, we will. I’ve also instructed him not to be on the campus of any of our schools until this investigation is over,” Smith said.
An attorney for Montgomery did not respond to CNN’s request for comment Tuesday.
Three juveniles face aggravated rape and aggravated assault charges in the December 22 incident, which resulted in a 15-year-old teammate being hospitalized and requiring surgery, his family said.
According to Gatlinburg police, the assault occurred at a rental cabin where the team was staying while in town for a tournament. Ooltewah is a suburb of Chattanooga and about 130 miles southwest of Gatlinburg.
Court documents obtained by CNN affiliate WTVC show that a 17-year-old teammate is being charged with sodomizing the 15-year-old with a pool stick while two 16-year-old teammates held him down. Gatlinburg police statements do not mention a pool stick.
The coach rushed the victim to the hospital, police said. The boy was later sent to a hospital in Knoxville, where he underwent surgery. He has since been released from the hospital and is home recovering, his family said.