Louisville area’s Central High School’s football coach, athletic director and principal are facing a new lawsuit that accuses them of failing to punish a football player who allegedly knocked out a younger student.
The lawsuit is the second filed recently by attorney Shaun Wimberly Sr. against the three Central officials and Jefferson County Public Schools.
The new suit, filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court, accuses Central football coach Marvin Dantzler, athletic director Ryan Bringhurst and principal Raymond Green of allowing a student to play in a game last year despite knowing that he punched and knocked out a younger player shortly before the game.
The same officials were named in a lawsuit filed last week by Wimberly, who accuses them of humiliating and driving his 16-year-old son off the football team.
Wimberly filed the most recent lawsuit on behalf of the freshman player and his mother claiming negligent supervision and retaliation. The Courier Journal is not naming the alleged victim or his mother because he is a juvenile.
JCPS spokesman Daniel Kemp said the district does not comment on pending litigation. A lawsuit only represents one side of the case.
The suit details a locker room incident before the Nov. 3, 2017, playoff game between Central and Pike County High School. The lawsuit does not name the student who is accused of attacking the younger player.
While in the locker room, the older player, who was a junior, approached the 14-year-old freshman and other “younger and smaller” players “in an intimidating manner,” according to the suit. The older student punched the freshman in the stomach and then delivered a “violent blow” to the back of his head, knocking him unconscious, the lawsuit says.
Several younger players left the locker room and told an assistant coach that the freshman player was injured and unconscious in the locker room.
The freshman student suffered a concussion and was taken to a hospital.
Shortly before the game started, the junior student admitted to Dantzler and assistant coaches that he hit his teammate in the back of the head, according to the suit. The junior played in the game that evening and in subsequent playoff games that season, the suit states.
The suit says that a JCPS employee told the injured student’s mother that the teenager who punched her son could not be identified due to student privacy laws. The employee told her that the junior was “needed to win” the game and therefore allowed to play, according to the lawsuit.
The mother tried to meet with Central officials in the weeks following the Nov. 3, 2017, incident but it wasn’t until May that the principal agreed to meet with her, according to the suit.
Her son missed several days of school after the incident due to the injuries he suffered in the locker room, the suit states. She claims Green and officials tried to expel her son over the absences related to his injury.