Thursday, August 16, 2001

Abuse by coach alleged

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Mayor Michael R. White has ordered an investigation into whether a Municipal Football League coach whipped young players with a belt.

        The team is suspended from city services and use of city fields during the investigation, says a Wednesday letter from Recreation Commissioner Michael Cox. The city has asked Cleveland schools to enact a similar ban.

        The city sent the letters to Clay Thompson, head coach of the Glenville A's, and to players and their parents. Authorities are not saying whether the head coach or an assistant are accused.

        The league is an independent nonprofit organization but receives city grants.

        The Cuyahoga Falls Police Department told Cleveland television station WEWS that no charges were filed, but at least nine parents have filed complaints against a coach or coaches on the team for the alleged Aug. 9 incident.

        Glenville players, aged 8 to 14, spent last week at a mini-camp in Cuyahoga Falls, an Akron suburb.

        Some players told the station the coach forced them to strip and whipped them after someone broke one of his car windows.

        “He put us in the shower and he whooped us with a belt at least five (times),” 10-year-old Andre Wells said.

        Ronald Wells, father of Andre and another player, said the boys will no longer play for the team.

        There are no listings for Clay Thompson in Cuyahoga County. A message was left at a listing in Summit County.


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