Rick Strunk of the NCHSAA speaks out about coach Tom Knotts of Independence

Posted by Andy Durham on November 5, 2007 at 6:11 pm under High School | 2 Comments to Read

from www.charlotte.com we hear:

The father of a junior varsity football player was yelling and spewing curse words at Independence coach Tom Knotts before the coach confronted him, according to parents who were there.

Knotts, who has been suspended and was not allowed to attend Friday’s conference championship game, was talking to his huddled team after Thursday’s 15-14 loss to Butler. The man, identified as the father of an Independence player, began heckling the coach, witnesses said, and Knotts left the huddle and began arguing with him through a tall chain-link fence.

The coach then “slammed” the fence against the man’s face, according to a police report. Witnesses said Isaac Avant Jr. was bleeding from the nose area.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials have suspended Knotts with pay pending an investigation. He cannot coach or teach, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesperson Cynthia Robbins.

Rick Strunk, a spokesman for the N.C. High School Athletic Association, said high school players sign a “sportsmanship pledge” and the organization has a code of conduct for coaches.

The code doesn’t specifically address how to handle hecklers, he said, but calls for treating officials with respect and setting an example for young athletes.

Assistant coach Bill Geiler will handle Knotts’ duties until the conclusion of the investigation.


  • NotJimMelvin said,

    Does anyone know why the parent was “heckling” the coach?? A JV players father, was he an Independance player?? Does Coach Knotts coach the JV’s also?

  • Ronald said,

    The parent had a kid on the Independence jv team and was mad at Knotts because of the way the Independence coaches were calling the plays and Independence was losing and Knotts helps with jv team and the father wasn’t even from Charlotte. He was from some place up in Pennsylvania or something and was in town watching his son play and he got up in Knott’s face and they went at it and Independence had won something like 7o games in row before they lost this game to Butler the other night. It was all over the Charlotte tv stations and on the news 14.