Tupelo High School football coach Eric Collins will remain suspended from his coaching duties until an ongoing investigation is completed, superintendent Dr. Randy Shaver said Monday.
Collins, who is in his sixth season, was suspended Thursday by the Tupelo Public School District for an alleged violation of district policy.
“We’re not going to name a timetable, because that is unfair to (Collins) and the school to put a timetable or a limit on that,” Shaver said.
The decision to suspend Collins was made by THS principal Mac Curlee and athletics director Danny Porter, Shaver said.
Collins “was informed that he had the right to appeal to the superintendent,” Shaver said. “After that hearing, I sustained their decision pending the completion of a thorough investigation.”
When contacted last week, both Porter and Curlee referred all inquiries about the Collins matter to Shaver’s office.
Collins, who remains on staff as a physical education teacher at THS, has not been allowed contact with the team since his suspension.
Defensive coordinator Lamar Aldridge, who was named interim coach, was on the sideline Friday when the Golden Wave defeated DeSoto Central, 42-0, in a Division 1-6A game.
“My assistant coaches did a great job and I want to mention them,” he said. “It’s not about me. I’m big on the group. They’ve done a great job keeping this going.”
The coach also saluted the team’s seniors and other players. “They’ve hung in there,” he said. “They’ve been through some tough times and some close losses.”
Tupelo, 2-6 overall and 2-3 in division play, travels to Horn Lake this week for a division game. Next week, the Wave hosts Olive Branch in its final regular season game.
The Golden Wave needs to win out and have some help to reach the postseason.
“We need to win our last two and Columbus needs to beat Starkville (on Nov. 6),” Aldridge said. “Columbus is playing better.”
Contributing: Chris Kieffer. Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal