Legendary Football Coach Faces Criminal Charges For Paddling - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Legendary Football Coach Faces Criminal Charges For Paddling

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by Nick Beres

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. - A legendary local football coach is in trouble, accused of going too far with corporal punishment on a student.

A grand jury indicted Vaughn Davis on charges of simple assault.  This after the mother of a 14-year-old special needs student complained to the district attorney.

"Mr. Davis took him outside and had him bend over a rock and paddled him three times," said the child's mother, who NewsChannel 5 did not identify to protect the identity of the child.

She said her son is recovering from a traumatic brain injury from an ATV crash and any further trauma like padding to his head or spine could have killed him.  The boy was on the school's "No Paddle" list, but the mother said it still happened.

"I was very devastated ... appalled and disappointed," she added.

She said her son is sometimes slow to respond to instructions, but said she's not entirely sure why he was paddled.  The Cumberland County director of schools declined to comment about the case.

"Some things were done that were horrible or even deplorable," said attorney Alan Rose, who along with colleague Richard Brooks plans to file a federal civil lawsuit on behalf of the student.

Davis is very well-known and respected in the Crossville area.  Over nearly a half century he's coached and taught thousands of children.   As a coach he's won more than 14 championships and his name is on the Homestead Elementary school football field.  There is even a day -- September 24 -- named for his honor in the town.

"He happened to be one of my teachers when I was growing up," said District Attorney Randy York who presented the case to the grand jury.  

York said he couldn't ignore the details of the complaint.

"The mother of the child brought this to our office and I felt that the Grand Jury should look at the case," said York.

York said criminal indictments in relation to corporal punishment are extremely rare.  Such cases are usually settled within the school or in civil lawsuits.  Davis is headed to criminal court.  He could not be reached for comment.

The Cumberland County schools director said Davis is no longer teaching at Homestead Elementary school.

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