Burt Austin has resigned as Franklin Central High School’s athletic director and football coach, according to an email from superintendent Flora Reichanadter. Austin had been on administrative leave since February as the school conducted an investigation into player safety in the program.
Franklin Central High School named Grant Lewis as its new football coach on Thursday, according to Reichanadter.
Austin, a former star player at Franklin Central in the 1980s, was 14-28 in four seasons at the school. When reached by phone on Wednesday, Austin said he was still employed by the school as a teacher but that he’s “not allowed to say anything more” and directed further questions to Reichanadter.
“My name has been dragged through the mud enough,” Austin said. “I’m not answering any more questions.”
Reichanadter did not respond to a request for a phone interview. She did send a release from the school that detailed violations in the athletic department that have occurred with Austin as athletic director during the 2014-15 school year:
>>An academically ineligible football player participated in junior varsity games;
>>The football program was placed on probation by the IHSAA for a violation of bylaw 3-10 (physical examination forms on file);
>>A similar violation for the boys tennis team on physical examination forms.
The Franklin Central release stated: “Athletics are an important part of the educational experience at Franklin Central. The Franklin Township Community School Corporation takes the responsibility of having a strong athletic program very seriously. As a member high school, we must abide by the IHSAA By-Laws. Once information regarding the above violations was obtained, new procedures regarding eligible students and the collection of pre-participation evaluation forms were immediately implemented to ensure that Franklin Central High School follows the IHSAA by-laws.”
Lewis had been an assistant on the Franklin Central staff.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.