Schools chief seeks buyout over alleged assault by players

AP News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2016 8:12 PM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The latest on the charges against three Tennessee high school officials who are accused of failing to report the sexual abuse of basketball players by teammates (all times local):

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8 p.m.

A Tennessee school superintendent has asked for a buyout of his contract amid the furor over the alleged sexual assault of basketball players at a holiday tournament.

Superintendent Rick Smith said at a Hamilton County School Board meeting Thursday afternoon that the school system was "bigger than any one person." He said the alleged assaults on players attending a basketball tournament in Gatlinburg on Dec. 22 by teammates represented a tragedy "that I know all of us will live with and struggle with." But he said the district would heal.

David Testerman is one of three board members who voted against the buyout. He praised Smith for his work in the district and said he was being criticized without reason or evidence.

Earlier in the day, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw refused to dismiss the charges against the three Ooltewah High School officials: head basketball coach Andre Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and athletic director Allard Nayadley.

A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 15.

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12 p.m.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw refused to dismiss misdemeanor charges against the three Ooltewah High School officials after hearing arguments from lawyers representing Ooltewah High basketball coach Andre Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and athletic director Allard Nayadley.

A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 15.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office filed an affidavit last week saying "four freshmen basketball players were subjected to apparent sexual assault."

The affidavit said one player required emergency surgery.

According to the affidavit, the assaults took place at a cabin while Ooltewah's team was participating in a tournament in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Police have charged three Ooltewah players with the aggravated rape of one player but haven't announced any other charges. The names of the players facing charges haven't been released because they are juveniles.