Head Coach Removed For Allegedly Encouraging Player To Harm Opponent

The head coach of a high school in Tallahassee, Florida, is embroiled in a controversy that threatens the integrity of the game. Kevin Pettis of Chiles High School stands accused of instructing one of his players to intentionally harm an opponent during a game last fall. As a result of the accusations, he was removed from his position and reassigned.

The Florida Standard reports that the claims against Pettis surfaced following an article published in Tallahassee Reports. According to the report, Pettis is said to have advised a Chiles High School player to harm another player on the field intentionally. 

The decision to reassign him came after an extensive investigation by Leon County Schools. The school district has assured the public that all relevant documents related to the case will be released in accordance with school board policy. Furthermore, these documents will be sent to the Florida High School Athletic Association for thorough review. 

While the district swears by its investigation, Petis does not think the decision is fair as he argued that he and the school were the targets of a predetermined narrative.

“I do not agree with [the superintendent’s] decision, and I am looking into my options and next steps. I feel that this was a targeted narrative against myself and Chiles High, similar to the investigation against principal Burgess in 2021,” he said in a statement.

However, this is not the first time Coach Pettis has faced scrutiny even though he has led the school to victory in the past.

Going back to 2014, while he coached at Sebastian River High School, one of his players reportedly died from heat exhaustion while a summer training camp practice was ongoing. 

TCPalm reported that the parents accused Pettis of neglecting their son’s health problems, as they said the boy, a 14-year-old, vomited multiple times on the day of his unfortunate passing. The parents had filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Indian River County School District.

Reaching a settlement, the family received $300,000, which was the highest amount of settlement allowable in that case. Despite these allegations and the subsequent legal proceedings, the school district declined to provide any comment regarding the 2014 incident when approached by the Florida Standard.