EUFAULA COACH ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AMID EXCESSIVE FORCE CLAIMS
Ch. 6 - November 7, 2023 4:53 pm
EUFAULA, Okla. –
A Eufaula football coach and principal is on administrative leave after the school district says it received reports he used excessive force to break up a fight.
Parents say their son got into a fight with the coach’s son in the locker room, and the coach slapped their boy in the face to break up the fight.
Jamar Ellen says it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend for his family.
His son Jordan says a teammate was picking on him after practice Thursday, which escalated into a locker room fight.
“I slammed him, I was yelling at him, was arguing for a little bit, then coach came in there, then I looked at coach, then he hit me in my face-punched me,” Jordan said.
Jordan says it took him a second to realize that coach was Jeremy Gragg, the dad of the classmate he was fighting.
“I was confused in the moment,” he said. “I came to the realization that he hit me.”
The district says Gragg is on administrative leave during the investigation.
Jordan’s dad says he talked with Gragg about what happened.
“He’s like I accidentally slapped him, I said, but why would you slap him, or how would you slap him,” Jamar said. “He tried to explain to me how he went in and how he went about it.”
Jamar says he’s questioning why the coach didn’t take a less aggressive way to break up the fight.
Jamar says the days following the fight have been filled with accusatory calls and texts.
“I got a ton of messages that people have been sending me, talking about I’m soft, or I’m saying something against him, or I’m trying to ruin his reputation, or this or that. I’m just protecting my son,” he said.
Jamar says he’s heard from other players in the locker room who witnessed what happened.
Eufaula Police say two detectives are investigating and expect to release an update this week.
So far, no charges have been filed.
“If it does turn to be a criminal case, then we’ll go criminal. If not, I’m going to sue him civil for putting his hands on my kid,” said Jamar.
News On 6 called Coach Gragg multiple times for his side but have not heard back from him.
Jamar says no matter what comes of the investigation, he’s pulling his son out of school and enrolling him in a different district.