Ohio education authority drops investigation into St. Marys football staff; lawsuits remain

Ohio education authority drops investigation into St. Marys football staff; lawsuits remain

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Ohio education authority drops investigation into St. Marys football staff; lawsuits remain

The Ohio Department of Education has dropped its investigation into the St. Marys (Ohio) football coaching staff stemming from allegations from five former players and two parents prior to last season, according to a tweet from the St. Marys (Ohio) Evening Leader on Wednesday.

Stateline Sports Network emailed St. Marys School Superintendent Howard Overman, and got this reply:

“What is stated above is all I know. ODE will not contact the school only the individuals involved. Hopefully this will clear the air for the coaches and the football program.”

The civil rights lawsuit was filed on June 29 of last year in the Ohio Northern District Court and is a separate issue than the ODE ruling. The lawsuit named the St. Marys school board, former superintendent Shawn Brown, athletic director James Hollman, head football coach Doug Frye and assistant football coach Bo Frye as defendants in the case.

According to the Lima News, plaintiffs in the case include Joshua Chisholm and David Lininger, parents of former players, as well as former players Levi Ginter, Jase Green, Chance Hicks, Dane Chisholm, and Lininger on behalf of a minor identified only as R.L.

From the Lima News last June:

An overview of the complaint said the players named as plaintiffs were talented and accomplished, but were still subjected to regular, repeated and pervasive harassment, intimidation, bullying and humiliation under Doug and Bo Frye, who are also father and son. Claims include the use of derogatory and demeaning terms, players being pressured to play with injuries, players being instructed that “what happens in football stays in football,” and players being encouraged to disassociate themselves from those who outwardly resisted the negative treatment by the coaches.

In November, per the Lima News, U.S. Federal District Court Judge James Carr ordered all complaints in the federal lawsuit against the Fryes and other school officials to be filed as individual cases.

Doug Frye led the Roughriders to a tri-championship in the Western Buckeye League in 2016. The team eventually lost to Trotwood-Madison in the regional final, 34-27, finishing the season 11-2.

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