Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) announced Friday after an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by football coach Eric Moore that he would remain as coach but that changes would be made to improve the culture of its athletic and extracurricular programs.
The school did not say what actions were taken involving Moore as a result of the investigation’s findings.
The school initiated the investigation in February, conducted by an independent investigator, following allegations related to inappropriate language, aggressive physical contact, intimidating and embarrassing students.
The investigation revealed a “larger, systemic issue within the culture of our extra-curricular activities,” according to a letter to parents and staff released Friday and signed by Center Grove superintendent Rich Arkanoff as well as the school board president, vice president, board secretary and two board members.
We recognize that we have not clearly outlined our expectations for the behavior of our coaches and sponsors and plan to remedy that immediately. Our school administrators are developing expectations for athletics and extracurricular activities (ECAs). These expectations will be outlined in a handbook for coaches/sponsors. We are also drafting guidelines for students who participate in athletics and other ECAs that will help them understand what can be expected of them and how they should be treated, along with resources available to them.
The investigator interviewed 42 people as part of “a thorough review of any accusations or concerns regarding Coach Moore that were brought to our attention over the past few weeks,” the letter said. Information concerning who was interviewed was not disclosed.
According to the letter, allegations related to inappropriate language were substantiated, as were allegations of intimidating and embarrassing students. Allegations of aggressive physical contact were “found to be credible but did not rise to the level of abuse,” while multiple other allegations (including “pressuring athletes to return from injuries, violating IHSAA rules about practices, interfering with parents and students contacting college recruiters, and other miscellaneous claims”) were not substantiated.
The school announced on April 25 that an investigation would take place after allegations of verbal abuse. It marked the second investigation into Moore’s conduct this year. Moore was placed on administrative leave in February after an allegation that he assaulted an athlete. He was reinstated after the Department of Child Services determined the allegation was unsubstantiated.
Many players came to Moore’s defense after the investigation was announced in April. Moore is 179-62 in 19 seasons with the program, including state titles in 2008 and 2015.
“We recognize that the media attention surrounding this investigation has been difficult for our community,” the letter said. “We have seen a range of emotions and an outpouring of support for Coach Moore. The lasting impact he has had on the lives of many of our students is undeniable. As we move forward, we will support Coach Moore and all of our coaches and sponsors, while providing accountability to our high standards.”