JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Lay ups, free throw shooting and defensive drills was what two Murrah High School parents expected to find when they sat in on their sons' basketball practice Monday.
"I was in total shock and awe. I couldn't believe it," said Gary Love, a parent of a Murrah High Sophomore basketball player.
Love said he noticed verbal abuse from first year head coach Marlon Dorsey. "Calling them names, profanity, harsh words," said Love.
According to the parents it didn't end with words. "If they would run a bad play on defense or offense, they were not in a position he wanted them, he would pull them to the side, tell them to bend over and go way back," said Jason Hubbard Sr., father to a Murrah High Sophomore basketball player.
Love and Hubbard said they witnessed Coach Dorsey whip the boys three or more times each using a weightlifting built. A weightlifting belt is at least three times thicker than an average belt.
"It's abuse. It's physical abuse," said Hubbard.
The fathers asked their 15 year olds about the whipping and why they had kept quiet.
"The fear of them not playing, your dealing mentally now and that's why most didn't tell their parents," said Hubbard.
They brought their concerns to the Jackson Public School District. JPS officials talked with parents on Thursday behind closed doors. The district was conducting an investigation into the allegations and gave this statement, "We cannot discuss specifics of the investigation or personnel matters because of employee and student confidentiality rights."
Parents told WLBT Coach Dorsey has been put on leave with pay. "Coaches don't have to prove that they're the coach to the kids. Just coach and do the best you can," said Love.-
According to the JPS website, corporal punishment has been banned in the district since 1991.
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