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POWELL, Tenn. — “A Tennessee high school football coach has been suspended amid an investigation into whether he unnecessarily put students at risk of injury.

“John Allen, the head coach at Powell High School, is on administrative suspension from coaching pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a statement released Friday by Knox County Schools spokesperson Melissa Ogden. The statement said it was an investigation “into allegations of unnecessarily placing students at risk of injury” and didn’t offer additional details.

“Ogden said the matter has been referred to the Department of Children’s Services. Ogden said Allen remains an economics and personal finance teacher at Powell, located about 10 miles northwest of Knoxville.

[High school coach suspended amid investigation, The Associated Press, Star Telegram, Oct. 17, 2014]

“Just hours before the Powell High School football team was scheduled to visit the Oak Ridge Wildcats for district play tonight (Friday, Oct. 17), the Knoxville media was reporting that coach John Allen has been placed on administrative leave and assistant Larry Neel has been named interim head coach.

“John Allen, head football coach at Powell High School, has been placed on administrative suspension from coaching pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of unnecessarily placing students at risk of injury,” Knox County Schools spokeswoman Melissa Ogden reportedly stated in an email shared with the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“The matter has been referred to the Department of Children’s Services. … Mr. Allen remains a teacher of economics and personal finance at Powell High School.”

“Allen was reportedly hired to coach football at Powell in January. The Panthers are 1-7 this season and are scheduled to play Oak Ridge High School tonight with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff scheduled for Jack Armstrong Stadium/Blankenship Field.

In a story reported in today’s Oct. 17 print edition of The Oak Ridger, ORHS football coach Joe Gaddis pointed out that Powell played for the state championship four years ago and made it to the state semifinals the year after that.

“Powell has some good football players,” Gaddis said. “And enough of them to cause a problem for anybody on any given night.

“(Oak Ridge is) working on trying to be as fundamentally sound as possible on both sides of the football,” Gaddis said of his team, which is currently 7-0 overall and 5-0 in district competition.

“The Powell vs. Oak Ridge game already was expected to be particularly interesting — even before the announcement regarding coach Allen was made this afternoon — because Powell was where Wildcat junior defensive end Darel Middleton (6-6, 260 pounds) transferred from during the pre-season.

“Darrell Richardson can be contacted at (865) 220-5510.”
[By Darrell Richardson/The Oak Ridger Oct. 17, 2014]

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