Blackman wrestling coach Ronnie Bray will miss the pre-Christmas portion of his team’s season after he was found to have violated dead-period guidelines.
“We were made aware of a possible violation, an investigation was done in-house, and the BHS administration imposed a suspension for one half of the season,” Blackman athletics director Scott Lawless said Wednesday.
Blackman, which finished fifth in the Class AAA duals tournament last year and 11th in the individual tournament, participated in a camp at UT Chattanooga last month. The final day of the camp was the first day of the two-week dead period prescribed by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, during which coaches are prohibited from contact with team members.
“There were a lot of coaches at that camp,” TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said. “Every one of them, the way we understand it, left on Saturday understanding that the dead period started on Sunday. For some reason, he stayed.
“He did not coach, but he wasn’t supposed to be there observing them.”
Bray, in his third year at Blackman, said he was not aware that the dead period began Sunday.
“I don’t know why it begins on Sunday and not Monday, but it was an oversight on my part to not know,” he said. “It’s a shame.”
John Heath, a nonfaculty assistant, will coach in Bray’s absence.
— Maurice Patton