Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) football coach Rush Propst is facing discipline for head-butting a player during the Class AAAAAA state semifinal last fall at Mill Creek, according to the Moultrie Observer. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has recommended that he be suspended one year.
Propst plans to appeal and told the Observer that he is preparing his team for the season, and he will be allowed to continue his coaching duties throughout the appeals process. He said he could not comment on the case from a 7-on-7 tournament in Atlanta, where he was coaching a Colquitt County squad.
John Grant, the commission’s assistant director of educator ethics, also told the newspaper that he could not comment on a pending case but confirmed the decision was made at the organization’s May meeting after an investigation.
A copy of the letter Propst received informing him of the suspension also leaked on to social media Thursday afternoon, as you can see below.
An appeal would be heard by an administrative law judge at the Office of State Administrative Hearings, but a reduced punishment would require approval of the Professional Standards Commission.
The incident was captured on television and gained national attention. Propst made contact with the helmet of Packers kicker Luis Martinez and bloodied his own forehead. Propst, who did not require stitches, then bumped into linebacker Dee Walker.
According to the Observer, the coach was not reprimanded by either the school administration or the Georgia High School Association.
Propst is among the nation’s most famous high school coaches, dating to his time leading Alabama powerhouse Hoover High. Part of his tenure at Hoover was the basis behind the MTV reality show “Two-A-Days,” which brought national acclaim to Hoover and Propst for his incendiary leadership style. He eventually departed Alabama to take over Colquitt County in neighboring Georgia in 2008, building up the program to its current status, with back-to-back state titles and a runner-up ranking in the 2015 USA TODAY Super 25 Football rankings.
The incident happened after Colquitt took a 21-14 lead in the second quarter on its way to a 52-31 victory. The Packers then beat Roswell 30-13 to repeat as state champions. Colquitt finished 15-0 and No. 2 in the Super 25 rankings.
The day after the incident, Propst told USA TODAY High School Sports, “Sometimes you have to get your team fired up. It’s like in baseball, when you get thrown out of a game or in basketball, when you yell at at referee. At least with this, we didn’t get a penalty. I used to do that kind of thing when I was a defensive coordinator. At least with Luis, he was at my level.”
As for how he felt after the game, he said, “I’m not sore today and I feel good in how we played in the second half, especially. We scored four touchdowns and could have scored two more.”
One might expect there to be hot takes on Propst suspensions on social media, and one would be correct in those expectations. You can see just a small sampling of the early responses below:
And your “current events related” Tweet winner, from Drew Jenkins: