Details released about assault of Garrard coach

January 23, 2004|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - The father who allegedly assaulted Garrard County High School's basketball coach was angry about his son's treatment on the team, a school official said.

Jerry Dick, 43, of Nina Ridge, was accused of attacking coach Cecil Combs and arrested on assault charges Monday after the incident and released that night.

Garrard County School Superintendent Ray Woolsey said Thursday that Dick, his wife, Tammy, and son Michael went to the school to discuss their complaints about Michael's treatment on the team.

Michael, a senior, had quit the team last Thursday.

"They felt their son had been mistreated," Woolsey said.

Dick and his wife met with Combs in his office while the players got ready for a morning practice on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Ultimately, Woolsey said, Combs apologized that he "wasn't able to make (Michael) the player you wanted him to be."

Dick, who is about 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, then allegedly grabbed Combs and told him, "You're going to apologize to my son," Woolsey said.

The enraged father allegedly put Combs in a chokehold and dragged him into the gym.

Witnesses told The Central Record of Lancaster that coaching assistants tried to help Combs, who was turning blue, but that Tammy Dick and her son blocked them. They also said at least three students tried to call 911, but that Tammy Dick insisted it was "a family matter." Combs called police after Dick left.

Woolsey said also that Michael Dick reportedly had contact with two assistant coaches. Neither Tammy nor Michael Dick was charged.

Jerry Dick was charged with misdemeanor assault, although state law allows prosecutors to seek felony charges if a school employee has been assaulted.

"Mr. Dick could be a very fine man who lost his temper because of his son," Woolsey said Wednesday. "Our concern is with the athletes and ensuring that this is something that should not happen again."

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