DeKalb hoping coach investigation moves quickly

A DeKalb County schools spokesman said Thursday that officials were hoping to expedite the investigation of suspended M.L. King head football coach Mike Carson, but that "we need the participation of everybody involved," including the woman who made the accusations against him.

Spokesman Jeff Dickerson said DeKalb school investigators had not yet talked to the woman — the mother of an M.L. King player — who accused Carson of texting nude photos to her.

Dickerson told the AJC that officials were "trying to wrap this thing up as quickly as we can," but said he could not estimate when a decision on Carson's future would be made.

Dickerson said Wednesday that "There were some inappropriate text messages and possible nude photos that suggested that there was inappropriate contact by the coach with a parent. The coach was immediately suspended, and an investigation is under way. The coach is cooperating with the investigation. We are trying to collect all the facts.''

Dickerson said the woman who made the allegations could face charges if any minors saw the photos as she showed them to other parents.

"It's my understanding that if minors were in the vicinity ... that could prompt possible prosecution," Dickerson said.

He said if the schools' investigators uncover any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, it would be forwarded to the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.

Carson, reached on his cell phone Wednesday, declined comment and referred questions to an attorney who did not return a phone call. M.L. King principal Everett Patrick also has not returned a call seeking comment.

M.L. King's opening game is Sept. 1 against Stockbridge as part of a double-header at Tri-Cities High in East Point. M.L. King is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA.

Carson has been replaced by an interim coach at M.L. King. Defensive backs coach Rober Freeman has been leading practices this week.

Carson led M.L. King to a 12-1 finish in 2011 and the third round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. In 2010, Carson's first season, M.L. King was 8-4.

In 2009, Carson had led Avondale to a 6-5 record, its best record since 1989. Jonquel Dawson, a quarterback, followed Carson to M.L. King from Avondale and was an all-state player in 2010 and 2011 while setting DeKalb County passing records.