(Smoky Mountain News) A Tuscola football player charged with a felony cross burning targeting a biracial classmate will remain on the team, at least for now.
Ben Greene, a rising junior and running back on the varsity football team, will have to sit out two games and do 25 hours of community service, according to school board policy. He can continue to practice and train with the team and is free to take the field again after sitting out the requisite number of games.
“We are following our policy exactly,” said Haywood County Schools Superintendent Anne Garrett.
While Garrett can’t talk about specific disciplinary action taken against individual students, she could discuss in generic terms what the school board’s policy is.
In particular, school policy says that student athletes charged with a crime have to sit out 20 percent of the games in a season and do 25 hours of community service but can continue practicing and training. If it’s a student’s second offense, they have to sit out a whole season and can’t practice with their team. On the third strike, they are permanently barred from playing on any school sports team.
Garret said the school has received a few phone calls from the public expressing concern over the football player remaining on the team after news of the charges came out in the past week.
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