Friday, November 18, 2011
High School Football Coach Arrested in Porn Scandal
The bad news about high school coaches behaving badly continues. This time, Michael Pickering, a 40-year-old assistant coach of the freshman football team at Staples High School in Westport, Conn., has turned himself in for providing players access to a pornographic website. He allegedly told police there were "issues" on the football team and that he had passed on the access code to players as a way to "create camaraderie among members of the team," according to local media reports. |
The Westport Board of Education contacted police after someone filed a complaint, according to WTNH.com. The members of the team verified the allegations to police, who then obtained a search warrant for Pickering's computers. The coach turned himself in and was arrested for three counts of risk of injury to a minor. In addition to coaching the Wreckers freshman football squad for nine seasons, Pickering coaches freshman lacrosse and works in the school district's maintenance department.
The Westport News reported Friday that a Facebook group called "Free Pick" was created by Staples sophomore football player Austin Nicklas to reflect the "shock" many local residents have felt since the allegations against Pickering surfaced earlier in the week. As of 10 a.m. (CST) on Monday, the group had more than 830 members. A similar Facebook group was created last month for Shawn Abel, the varsity football coach at Collierville (Tenn.) High School who resigned after the audio of his profanity-laced locker-room tirade was posted on YouTube.