Benton Harbor football coach apologizes for texts
BENTON HARBOR —
An award-winning high school coach is under investigation by school administrators for questionable There's mixed reaction in the community.
Coach Elliot Uzelac himself is calling the texts "inappropriate."
But some parents say they're looking at the fuller picture of a man who came out of retirement to volunteer his time to coach on that field you see behind me.
The texts in question mention derogatory words to describe students dressed for prom.
"I feel like, everybody entitled to their own opinion, so yes, they should be able to say what they feel,” said Benton Harbor resident, Jessica Thomas.
Benton Harbor Superintendent Shelly Walker calls the incident a "misstep" and "unfortunate blemish" saying Uzelac brought "Tiger Pride" back to the football team.
Uzelac, AP's 2015 Coach of the Year, tells the superintendent in an apology:
"I do regret and apologize for texting comments that were clearly inappropriate. Under no circumstances were these statements meant to be taken seriously. It has never been my intention to offend the Benton Harbor students or community."
Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad, once coach of the same football team, calls Uzelac a "role model" who made a mistake.
“If every moment was captured that I spoke or even certain things that I may have done was put on social media, I may have come under the scrutiny, so I've been there,” said Mayor Muhammad.
Walker says she and the board of education are considering next steps.
Some board members say they want a chance to look at all of the messages before taking those next steps.