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Police: Coach vandalizes own school, lets rival take blame

Tenn. coach charged with vandalizing his school

JASPER, Tenn. — A Tennessee assistant football coach was arrested Wednesday, accused of painting his team’s field house with vulgarities and making it seem like the work of a rival high school, according to investigators.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Marion County High School teacher Michael Schmitt was charged with vandalism.

The Associated Press could not determine whether Schmitt has a scheduled court date or a lawyer and could not find a phone listing. A phone message left for a high school administrator was not returned.

Administrators found the field house defaced before its championship game against cross-town rival South Pittsburg on Nov. 1. Vulgarities were spray painted on side doors and the backside in South Pittsburg’s colors, orange and black, officials said.

Derogatory references toward Marion coaches and players, as well as a large “P,” also were painted on the buildings, officials said. Marion County schools superintendent Mark Griffith has said the damage totaled several thousand dollars.

South Pittsburg won the game, 35-17.

“It is sad to say that this event gives the whole community a black eye and the real victims of this incident are the kids from both schools,” Marion County sheriff’s detective Matt Blansett told the paper.

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