Winston-Salem State University officials have announced that they intend to fire the school's head football coach, claiming he did not take proper action following an altercation between team members that possibly exposed the existence of guns and marijuana on campus.
Kienus Boulware, who was hired in 2014, is currently suspended without pay.
As reported by local NBC affiliate WXII, a letter by WSSU chancellor Elwood Robinson states that on the morning of April 4, two players were involved in altercations both during practice and in the weight room. The letter also states that Boulware found out about another altercation at Gleason-Hairston Terrace Hall involving the same players.
University leaders say the head coach then contacted the father of one of the players involved in the altercation, but not the WSSU Police Department or the athletics director. They also say Boulware was informed about a gun possibly being involved in the altercation. In addition, they say he noticed a bag of "what appeared to be marijuana" in Gleason-Hairston Terrace Hall, which he gave to the father of one of the players for disposal instead of contacting WSSU Police or the athletics director.
The letter states that Boulware was required to report all of these violations and possible violations to both WSSU Police and the Athletics Director, but he did not.
School officials also say that after the event, Boulware contacted the Office of Student Conduct to inform them of the altercation, but not WSSU Police regarding the allegations of a possible gun or drugs being in the residence hall.
University leaders say these infractions are grounds for termination. Boulware has 30 days to appeal the university's decision.
Said Jay Davis, WSSU director of communications and media relations, "In an era where gun violence is prevalent, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure that our students, faculty, staff, and visitors are safe on our campus. The university's investigation into Coach Boulware's actions included interviews not only with other witnesses, but also with Coach Boulware himself. His own words during that investigation are in conflict with the statement he has released in response to his termination. The university stands by its decision to dismiss him as head coach. With this action, we are sending a strong message that as an institution we will not stand for behavior that introduces the risk of harm to our campus community."