published Thursday, October 6th, 2011

TSSAA investigating Signal Mountain football program

  • photo
    In this file photo, a child talks to an adult through a fence just before the start of Signal Mountain's season opening home football game. The Eagles were the 2010 State Champions for their division.
    Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The TSSAA sent two investigators to meet with Signal Mountain High School administrators and football coaches Thursday to inquire about the eligibility of a student-athlete.

According to TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress, while the player’s residence changed from Georgia to Tennessee, the player did not move into Signal Mountain’s zone, potentially making him ineligible to participate in athletics for the Eagles.

Under Article III, Section 13 of the TSSAA’s eligibility handbook, if it is determined that Signal Mountain played an ineligible player, the program would be forced to vacate all six victories this season. Signal Mountain is currently 6-1 overall, 3-0 in District 7-AA and ranked No. 3 in Class 4A. If the Eagles vacate their wins, their new record would be 0-1 overall and 0-0 in the district.

Check back for more on this developing story and read Friday’s Times Free Press.

UPDATED: Tim McClendon named as player under investigation.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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Livn4life said...

Wow gotta love the high school recruiting. I guess next it will be Middle School recruitamania then all the way down to pee wee leagues. Winning isn't everything it's the ONLY THING, some coach was once quoted. If this turns out to be true sorry but everyone needs to play by the rules or else let's stop pretending rules matter.

October 6, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
WHS1970 said...

After witnessing Bill Price call for an onside kick, while leading 35-0,I saw what he is all about. Sportsmanship means nothing to him, too bad that it rubs off on the student athletes. He is without class.

October 6, 2011 at 7:18 p.m.
MemphisGuy25 said...

HAHAHAHA. It's about time that Wild Bill and his boys got caught with their hand in the cookie jar! This is awesome news to hear. I hope that TSSAA comes through and really sticks it to Signal! Hopefully this event will bring Signal Mountain High School, Signal Mountain High School Administration, Teachers, Students, Players, Parents, and athletic supporters off their "entitled, holier than now high horse" that they think they are on! People get SICK and TIRED of hearing about how "great" Signal Mountain High School is in whatever it is that they are doing. People need to realize that the school is a zoo without the animals from 7:30-2:30. Who in their right mind would send their son or daughter to that school. I WILL NOT be doing this. I am sure that this player is not the only player who is ineligible due to address reasons. This just adds to the list of fishy stuff going on up their with Wild Bill and his boys. Drinking incident last year. Fight with Soddy Daisy this year. Parents, I mean wannabe coaches, on the sideline. Drunk kids beating up judge's son at games. Now playing ineligible players. I hope they have to vacate these wins this year and that causes them to not make the playoffs and then this investigation leads to them looking into last year's team and then their perfect season and championship would be washed down the drain, because there were players on last year's team who WERE NOT Signal Mountain kids and/or residents. So Good Luck to TSSAA and Good Luck to EVERY team that plays Signal Mountain over the next few weeks.

October 6, 2011 at 8:15 p.m.
crow1033 said...

Wow Memphisguy! Way to stick it to a bunch of high school students! Such a great attitude! I am sure the administration, teachers, students, players, parents and athletic supporters at SMMHS are glad that you WILL NOT send your kids there, since each and every one of them did something to offend you!

October 6, 2011 at 8:40 p.m.
hamjam40 said...

The private school elitie have finally founde someone "TSSAA" to pander to thier jealousy and moaning. Football in this city was a joke ande embarrassment before Price came to town. Baylor, McCallie, N. Dame or Boyd if you had all of Signals players you still wouldn't win because you have a bunch of amatuers Coaching your teams. Notre Dame was twice as big as us and we dominated them, they could hardly get in a decent stance.....they were pathetic. Price is a winner, and kids that want to be coached by a winner and be a part of a 1st rate program will find their way to that school because that program sells itself. Unlike a bunch of gutless turds hiding behind a rule book. Everything Price has been able to do has been in spite of the people in Chattanooga , not because of the people in Chattanooga. In the next few years I hope he plays the aforementioned and beats all of you as bad as possible. He had 55 points at halftimen last week, if he wanted to run the score up he could have hung 120 points on them. If this frivolous accusation sticks.... enjoy it.... it will be your last hoo-rah! Anybody with an IQ above 50 knows what's going on here, private school elite make me sick..... Oh, the guy at Central is legit, but I'll bet the private schools steal all his players before he get's that program off the ground.

October 6, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
CodenamedStorm said...

I think this is great. Signal Mountain is a bunch of snobs. Did you know they tried to organize "Notre LAME" day? And the principal ok'd it? What a bunch of losers. I hope they get their butts served by the TSSAA.

October 6, 2011 at 10:12 p.m.
Redlegs11 said...

You mean the Central coach who has been run out of Lakeview, Bradley and Silverdale and has now won a total of 3 games in two seasons? This guy is a joke and what is even worse about him are the lies and hypocrisy he brings with him. Central is one of the worst coached teams in town.

October 6, 2011 at 10:27 p.m.
stoneface said...

I was going to respond to the Memphis guy and ask him why all the hate for Signal Mountain then I read hamjam's post and I realize why it is so easy to dislike Signal. Regardless, if proven, this will hurt the boys much more than it hurts the coaches. A very sad thing. They didn't even need Tim to win all those games. Of course TSSAA may end up dismissing the allegation. Then Memphisguy can find another reason to hate Signal and hamjam can go on hating Baylor and McCallie.

October 6, 2011 at 10:51 p.m.
cannedheat said... have got to be kidding me. "Football in this city was a joke ande embarrassment before Price came to town." Do you realize just how rediculous this statement is? Are you saying that some private school associate called this on Signal? Baylor, McCallie, and Boyd do win. Signals players wouldn't start at the school at the foot of the mountain you clown so get that straight. What have the people of chattanooga done to poor Bill Price? He's a joke and has no discipline over his players or players parents whatsoever. Do you realize how embarrassing it is for an article to be written in the paper about a 7 on 7 scrimmage that involved a fight between not only kids but Signal parents too? I believe Price was quoted somewhere along the lines of "it was just a good old scrap." Not too mention the paper covering the Alcoa story (on the front page) in which Price said he would skip up a classification to not play them. Chattanooga football was great long before Bill Price came. If anything he's made it worse. Rules are ruls my fellow hamjam, and unfortunetly they've been broken. Thats sad for the kids that didnt do anything wrong but get a bad wrap as it is. I feel bad that their wins are going to get vacated, and nothing would please me more than to see the rings get taken off those fingers too. Everything aside, get off your private vs public school stoop. If the kids want to play for a winner, they'll leave one school to go to that winner. I'm sure a 5 star athlete would leave central in a heartbeat if it meant playing for a winning school.

October 6, 2011 at 10:55 p.m.
treetopflyer said...

I played this team, they are snobs and least modest team I have ever witnessed play. I have played football for 14 years and was always taught to be a good sportsman, after I knock someone down I help them up it's just the way I was taught it was no secret they recruited they were just really sneaky the lord answered my prayers I can deal with being beat but not by a bunch cheaters

October 6, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.
valeriewright3 said...


October 6, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
domain91 said...

i too, will agree with treetopflyer in saying that signal mountain high school was the least sportsmanlike team that i played durring my high school carrer. i also played coffee county high school, another team coached by bill price. they too were very unsportsmanlike.

i can not speak to claims of signal cheating, but i do have my opinion that bill price coached teams are the least sportsmanlike teams i encountered while playing ball for a local school, and believe that poor attitude comes directly from the styles and attitudes portrayed by the coaching staff of the schools.

October 6, 2011 at 11:37 p.m.
moosepudding said...

I go to Signal Mountain High School. I don't know Bill Price, I don't know much about the way he works, and frankly I don't care. But if there's one thing I DO know, it's that he does not care about stupid crap like this. Be it that I don't know Coach Price, I DO, however, know the football players, and Tim. And I know that you can say whatever you want about them being unsportsmanlike, but these are some of the finest young men I've ever had the pleasure of being around. And all this decision is doing is punishing the students and players, not the faculty and CERTAINLY not Coach Price. I love my school, and don't care what anyone thinks about it. And I'm certainly not here to talk any crap about other schools, but I see some of you saying how there is "dark, seedy stuff like gasp drinking!!" And I'd just like to point out that there is not a single high school in America where there are students that don't drink or do bad things. Signal Mountain is no exception. Dr. McCoullagh (please excuse me if I spelled his name wrong) is a wonderful man with good morals, and represents the spirit of our school. I think it is unsensible to make stupid generalizations about our school based on Tim McClendon not being an "official" citizen of Signal or whatever... I think SOMEONE's just out to get Signal Mountain.

October 7, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
eaglesalltheway said...

I'm a senior at Signal and this is the craziest thing I have ever seen. You don't know our school our students or our teacher/coaches/administration. We know whats up and we know that we bet all of y'all pretty bad, but just because Tim,a high school student,parents wanted him to go to a school that offers a better education doesn't mean you have to ruin it. There is more to him and the Signal family then just football. As everyone knows we have some of the best academic scores in the state and that is why they bus kids up here, not because we cheat. Maybe instead of pointing out our flaws you should focus on your, and then maybe you can have what we have. I don't know a lot parents up here that sit on their computer talking about your students in such an immature way. We earn everything we have, even with all the haters. And if you truly tired of hearing about us do something about it and make your school better. You don't know coach price either and football is not everything. He strives to make sure everyone of his seniors are ready to graduate so mind your business. We didn't get everything handed to us, so we appreciated everything we have. Our parents are taxed to death to have enough money to have the school we have. That's more then y'all do for your kids school and every parent is involved in their child's school. What other schools can say the same? Grow up!

October 7, 2011 at 8:42 p.m.
madmom41 said...

This is ridiculous! A bunch of mad parents that are upset cause their kids can't beat Signal Mtn. so they are bad mouthing a bunch of kids!! One player does not make an awesome team and taking their wins from them won't make your kids team any better!! When its all over, and if their wins are taken doesn't change the fact that a great team still beat you!!

October 7, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.
SMGolf said...

This is RIDICULOUS. Not one of you on here attends the school that I am about to graduate from. None of you know how our school functions, or what goes on within the school. The media has picked our school, students, and athletes apart, FOR NO REASON. Do y'all even look at the great things that our school and students have accomplished? Or are your sons and daughters at other school so unsuccessful that you have to find fault with ours. 5 State championships in 3 1/2 years? Two Nation Merit students? A winner of the Anneburg Scholarship, and one of the Haslam? This is getting so ridiculous. A young man is trying to make it to the top, thought Signal Mountain would be his best shot, and Coach Price welcomed him. I am amazed that this has been blown so out of proportion. I know that I speak for all of Signal Mountain when I say that we are glad that you do not live up here or are a part of our community. Pathetic.

October 7, 2011 at 10:24 p.m.
CodenamedStorm said...

SMGolf, ok, then don't make illegal actions next time.

October 8, 2011 at 8:04 a.m.

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October 8, 2011 at 10:09 a.m.
Signal4Ever said...

Tim Mclendon was confirmed to attend Signal Mountain due to hardship. Should he have to choose between playing football and having a good education? If he attended Signal, he should be able to play there. I'm sorry if some other people or schools have grudges against Signal Mountain, but what if this were happening to you? Everyone started to turn on us after we kept winning. If you want to lecture us about sportsmanship, learn how to lose gracefully first.

October 8, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.
sandstorm66 said...

Burn Baby Burn!!!!!!!

October 10, 2011 at 12:57 p.m.
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