School attorney: Football coach sent threatening texts before fight

The allegations are made in a letter sent last week by attorney Mike L. Dishman to William A. Prior Jr., chief judge of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit in east Georgia. The letter requests an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the fight between players and coaches of Hancock Central and Warren County high schools.

Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus has requested the GBI look into the brawl, which hospitalized Warren County head football coach David Daniel.

No charges yet have been filed over the fight, which took place at Hancock County Central High School in Sparta, about 100 miles east of Atlanta. The fight was broken up by Hancock County deputies, Sparta police and school resource officers.

In the letter acquired by the AJC via an open records request, Dishman states that Hancock assistant coach Marleau Blount sent several Warren players "vulgar and inappropriate" text messages. Blount resigned as head football coach at Warren County in August, said Warren County superintendent Jean Carey, and was replaced by Daniel.

Hancock County Superintendent Gwendolyn Jefferson Reeves said Blount admitted to her Wednesday that he sent text messages, but she would not disclose what the messages said.

"That is a matter under GBI investigation," said Reeves.

Reeves said Blount was hired as a special education teacher at Hancock Central Middle School and volunteers as an assistant high school football coach.

"He's not paid any supplement as a volunteer coach," said Reeves.

Dishman's letter alleges that on the day of the game between the two east Georgia high schools that Blount sent a text message  to a Warren County player that read "Better stay yo stupid [expletive] in [Warren County] B4 som1 get really hurt."

Blount did not return a phone call and email requesting comment.

After the fight, Dishman said Blount told a Warren County player via an 11:22 p.m. text that he had no idea why the fight occurred: "How th[e] [expletive] I kno[w] about yall bull[expletive]. Yu started this [expletive] last week. Remember yu started this."

Hancock superintendent Reeves said she welcomes a GBI investigation into the incident.

"I am all for that; they are a neutral law enforcement agency and we want a fair investigation," said Reeves.

She said school counselors will be offering a two-day conflict resolution workshop to Hancock football players and a community meeting will be held "to tell the public what happened and why it should not happen again."

"School is a place where you come to learn," said Reeves. "We are devastated about what has happened. All it took was one person making a bad decision."

The brawl left Daniel, the Warren County head coach, hospitalized with head injuries; he has undergone major reconstructive surgery to his face, including crushed bones above and below his eye.

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