published Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Live coverage: TSSAA verdict on Signal Mountain High School extended until Friday

School appealing ruling that player ineligible and six wins vacated

Note: Please refresh this page for the latest updates.

[Update 6:25 p.m. ET] After nearly three hours of listening to Signal Mountain High School’s appeal, followed by more than five hours of closed-door discussion, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s six-member Board of Control has not yet reached a verdict.

According to one TSSAA source, the board members will reconvene early Friday morning to continue their discussion and vote on the appeal.

Signal Mountain officials hope to regain at least some of six football wins taken away by the TSSAA, which ruled on Oct. 7 that the Eagles had played an ineligible student-athlete.

Thursday morning’s Board of Control hearing took on more of a courtroom feel than most appeal hearings that go before the TSSAA. Attorney Clancy Covert handled most of the presentation for Signal Mountain, while TSSAA attorney Rick Colbert asked most of the questions, rather than board members.


THE STORY SO FAR

With a championship season on the line, Signal Mountain High School officials hope to regain at least some of six wins taken away by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association when its appeal is heard today in Murfreesboro.

The TSSAA ruled on Oct. 7 that the school's football team had used an ineligible player and vacated six wins from the Eagles, who were well on their way to the District 7-AA championship and an appearance in the Class 4A playoffs.

ALSO READ:

Tim McClendon’s journey to Signal Mountain High School

Poll
Will Signal Mountain win its appeal?

2:07 p.m. We'll let you know the decision as soon as we get word. While we wait, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the verdict the moment it happens.

11:54 a.m. What do you think so far? Leave a comment below.

11:50 a.m. Meeting is in a break.

11:48 a.m. Layne sits. Covert asks if the Signal Mountain should wait for the decision or will be notified later.

Chairman Reed, “This board will make the decision and your school will be notified.”

11:47 a.m. Covert, “Mr. Layne I’m not questioning your integrity.”

Layne interrupts, “yes you have.”

11:46 a.m. Tommy Layne stands in the back of the room, visibly upset.

“This guy (speaking of Covert) here is questioning my integrity and my school’s integrity. All the involvement I had was to speak with Mr. Childress about what I had heard. If you want to question my integrity you can come here and do it any day of the week.”

11:45 a.m. Covert, “But (Patty Lane) was at those meetings and did not hear from Director Childress.”

11:43 a.m. Covert concludes, but Colbert interjects.

“Just so everybody here is clear. During the last two weeks of September, the entire TSSAA staff, with the exception of secretaries, went on an eight-day travel to have administrator’s meetings. From West Tennessee back. By my calendar, it was a week after that that they came to Chattanooga. The last administrator’s meeting was Sept. 29, coming back from West Tennessee. It’s the next week, Oct. 6 when they come down to visit the school.

“I understand some concern over the timing, but you have a small staff with 390 member schools and they’re spread out. Signal Mountain is not their only school to be concerned with.”

11:41 a.m. “The long and the short of it ladies and gentlemen, there’s a lot of vagueness, a lot of gray in that definition. According to your definition, he’s ours. He’s eligible to play. All we’re asking for is to take the time to look at the definition and change it. To single out Signal Mountain is a problem because I would dare say our interpretation is the same as a lot of other schools.

“This kid is thriving academically and doing well athletically. We thought he had potential, as a student to graduate.”

11:40 a.m. “If Director Childress and Tommy Layne are at an administrator’s meeting on Sept. 22, why couldn’t they, as a courtesy, call Patty Lane and tell her there were questions and that they may want to hold Tim McClendon out? “The school most likely to benefit by Tim McClendon being ruled ineligible is Sequatchie County (where Tommy Layne is principal). We’re both in the same district.

11:38 a.m. There is such a different feel than other appeal hearings I have attended, more like the two attorneys are speaking to each other. Very little interaction from the Board members or TSSAA employees.

11:37 a.m. I am sitting directly behind Colbert, about two feet away, Covert is making his statement almost exclusively to Colbert, who is nodding as Covert speaks.

11:35 a.m. Covert now reading down the checklist of what Coach Price filled out online and why they felt he was eligible.

“According to those rules, again, we stand on what we submitted.”

11:34 a.m. Covert, “Our position is, he (Tim) did have a bonafide change of address. Once he moved, he did have the right to petition for a hardship. It’s nothing through our school, it’s through the Board of Education.”

11:32 a.m. Covert, “I’d like to say a few closing marks if that’s possible?”

Chairman Mike Reed nods. TSSAA attorney Rick Colbert says, “Sure.”

11:30 a.m. Patty Lane, “Basically we have a bull’s-eye on our back. A lot of people are, I don’t know if you want to say jealous, but we have a large amount of good athletes that decided to stay home (on the mountain) instead of going to Notre Dame, Baylor, McCallie.

“My question was, why didn’t anyone let us know there was a question about Tim’s eligibility on Sept. 22, when the TSSAA was notified? We didn’t get the phone call until two weeks later. I wonder why we didn’t get that phone call as a courtesy?”

11:27 a.m. Board member Steve Chauncy, “Is there any documentation from Hamilton County that states the hardship is approved?”

McCullough, “There is, but I did not bring that with me.”

11:25 a.m. Colbert, “You understand you’ve got the question of athletic eligibility and Hamilton County’s definition of a hardship to attend a school and they’re different, right?”

McCullough, “Yes.”

11:22 a.m. McCullough, “To be honest, the bonafide change of address was my primary concern. We probably would not have appealed this case, and no doubt even asked to add him had we not believed he was eligible. I believe if the Board denies our appeal, the language of that definition should be changed.”

11:19 a.m. Colbert, “I just want to clarify something Dr. McCullough. You all have school buses that pick up and run to Signal Mountain?”

McCullough, “Yes sir.”

Colbert, “When you have kids like Tim McClendon who are out of zone, do those buses pick him up?”

McCullough, “Our No Child Left Behind students are provided transportation. Tim is not under the No Child Left Behind.”

11:17 a.m. Covert, “Academically was Tim eligible?”

McCullough, “I was trusting my staff to determine that. I was not that involved.”

11:16 a.m. McCullough, “Before the season started, someone from the Chattanooga police department called to say that someone was looking into one of our new football players. He gave me Tim McClendon’s name. I had a lengthy discussion with Tim’s mother. The concern was, ‘where does Tim live?’. If someone at the police department was asking where he lives, I felt it was on me to determine where he lived.”

11:15 a.m. McCullough recounts how he met Tim McClendon.

Covert, “When a hardship is granted by Signal Mountain, what is your understanding of what that entails?”

McCullough, “I’m asked about that frequently. Mostly by parents wanting to know how to get their children to Signal Mountain. It’s not my decision to make.”

11:14 a.m. Dr. Tom McCullough is reintroduced

Attorney Covert makes a joke about Dr. McCullough having been in education longer than he has been alive. There are chuckles in the audience, but none of the Board members smile.

11:13 a.m. Colbert, “There are school zones that are geographically established?”

Baker, “Yes. As a baseline. There are magnet schools and hardships and other exceptions.”

Colbert, “If I bought Ms. McReynolds’ house and had high school-aged children, they would be zoned for Brainerd?”

Baker, “Yes.”

11:10 a.m. Colbert, “The reason why Tim McClendon had to go through the hardship process is because otherwise he would have to attend Brainerd?”

Baker, “That is correct.”

11:07 a.m. We have now surpassed the two-hour mark of the meeting.

11:06 a.m. When Colbert speaks, the entire Board of Control and all TSSAA employees stop reading their forms and look directly at him, paying full attention to his questions.

11:05 a.m. None of the Board of Control members ask questions. TSSAA attorney Rick Colbert does.

Colbert, “I can’t look to find information on how to handle a hardship?”

Baker, “No sir. It’s my understanding each case stands on its own merit.”

Colbert, “Is there a formal, written process?”

Baker, “I’ve never seen any.”

11:03 a.m. Covert, “Are hardships an isolated thing?”

Baker, “We have about 41,000 students in the county and about 1,000 hardships per year.”

  • photo
    Name: Chip Baker, Hamilton County Board of Education District 2

11:02 a.m. Chip Baker, a 12-year member of the Hamilton County Board of Education (representing District 2, which includes Signal Mountain) is now introduced

11 a.m. Back row of the room from right to left, Chip Baker, Shane Roberson, Tim McClendon and his mother. Middle row Bill Price and his wife Debbie and an unidentified attorney. Front row, Dr. Tom McCullough, Patty Lane.

10:58 a.m. Covert, “Was that the first notification you received of any problems?”

Lane, “That was it.”

No further questions

10:57 a.m. Covert, “When did you learn they were coming.”

Lane, “Dr. McCullough told me the day before but we didn’t know the details.”

10:56 a.m. Covert, “When did investigators for TSSA come to the school?”

Lane, “Oct. 6”

10:55 a.m. Lane was an assistant principal at Howard for eight years.

10:54 a.m. Covert, “Were you involved in getting him the hardship?”

Lane, “Once he’s assigned to us as a student, everything about him figures in to our school data. Everything that goes as a part of a student being a part of the school. At that time I wouldn’t have known Tim McClendon if he walked into the room.”

10:51 a.m. Signal Mountain athletic director Patty Lane now being introduced

“The only thing I knew about Tim McClendon was what Shane told me about what a good kid he was and how he had been his mentor for years and they were trying to get him a hardship.”

10:49 a.m. Colbert, “Did you look at the TSSAA bylaws definition of “territory”? Did you look at the bylaws before you made your mark (holding up the handbook of bylaws)”

Price, “No sir.”

10:47 a.m. Colbert, “Did you mark there was a bonafide change of residence?”

Price, “Yes sir.”

  • photo
    Signal Mountain coach Bill Price watches a game in this file photo.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

10:44 a.m. Colbert, “Coach Price, (pointing to a copy of the eligibility form) do you remember filling this out?”

Price, “Yes sir.”

10:34 a.m. Chairman Mike Reed asks for a 10-minute recess

10:31 a.m. Price: “Tim had not played but two quarters of football and zero quarters in Tennessee. I told my coaches this will get looked at so let’s make sure everything is done right. Him meeting all the requirements, it came back that he was eligible. If he had not been eligible, we would’ve gone through the hardship process. The address was never changed from day one. There was never any deceitful stuff done.”

10:29 a.m. Colbert, “It seems to me, if I understood what I heard earlier, it seems that Ms. McReynolds (McClendon’s mother) never lived at the address at the Meadow View address.”

Price, “It’s my understanding they lived in two places while in Georgia. They did live at both places in Georgia. Tim had also turned 18 at that time so I guess he could have lived anywhere he wanted to.

10:25 a.m. Price, “If the TSSAA says a kid is eligible, you don’t have to file a hardship. We never got notification that he could possibly be ineligible until two weeks ago.

“The TSSAA investigators never spoke to me. I’m the one that filled out the form but I was not included when they came to the school to ask questions.”

Colbert, “As I understand it, 10 percent of the student who attend Signal Mountain do so out of zone. And six of those participate in athletics?”

Dr. McCullough, “That’s correct.”

10:23 a.m. Bill Price: “A couple of weeks later (after filling out the form and submitting it) we received a fax saying the student was eligible to compete in all sports for the 2011-12 school year.”

TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress sat back in his chair and began nodding as Price explained the procedure.

10:22 a.m. Bill Price is explaining the step-by-step process of filling out the online eligibility form.

10:20 a.m. Bill Price now being introduced

“Head football coach and teacher. I teach economics. Taught and coached for 28 years.

“Never been before the TSSAA Board of Control. I’ve filled out eligibility forms for 28 years as a coach.

“I met Tim this summer, in July. Shane introduced him to me. I took Tim to Dr. McCullough to introduce them.

“I filled out the eligibility form for Tim. There are always calls to make, to make sure you follow proper procedure. That’s something you always do.

“I even coached at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 25 years ago. I know it’s in Georgia.

10:18 a.m. Colbert, “Did you consider that the graduation testing would present a problem for Tim?”

Roberson, “I wasn’t aware that they tested before a kid can graduate.”

Board chairman Mike Reed, “Coach you have written five recommendations for kids, were they all athletes?”

Roberson, “No. One was a girl who was not an athlete. The other four were.”

10:16 a.m. Colbert, “Who filled out the online form for the TSSAA?”

Roberson, “Coach (Bill) Price.”

Board member Steve Chauncy, “What are your duties at Signal Mountain?”

Roberson, “I coach football and teach.”

Colbert, “How long were you at LFO?”

Roberson, “Two years.”

10:14 a.m. Colbert, “What is it that Hamilton County schools can do for the kids that LFO couldn’t do?”

Roberson, “It all had to do with just the testing. Tennessee doesn’t require the graduation testing to get a diploma. The graduation coach made it clear he wasn’t going to get his diploma unless he passed the test. In Tennessee, so long as he passes his classes, he’ll get his diploma.”

10:13 a.m. Colbert, “What about DJ (Roberson)? Did you know him also? Where did his family live?”

Roberson, “The family lived in Chattanooga and moved to government housing. He was another kid that I stayed in contact with and noticed his academics were plummeting. I can’t help that these kids are athletes, I just try to help them when I see a kid that needs to be helped.”

10:10 a.m. Roberson, “He called me and asked what I could do to help him. He said he hated it at Howard. ‘You gotta get me outta here Shane’. So I did what I could do to help.”

Colbert, “When did you have the conversation with him when he asked if you could help him get to LFO?”

Roberson explains what happened at Howard, having a knife pulled on Tim and chased down the hall.

10:09 a.m. Again, no questions from the Board members. Only Rick Colbert, a tall medium-build man with graying hair and glasses and a deep voice.

How did you find out that he was going to come to school at Signal?

10:07 a.m. Shane Roberson: “I made it clear to Tim that there was a process he needed to follow to get to Signal Mountain, the same as there was when he went to LFO. I told him I would do whatever I could to help him because I want to see him succeed.”

10:05 a.m. Most of the Board members spend their time reading over documents, not making eye contact with any of the speakers. Only briefly glancing up to look at who is speaking.

10:03 a.m. Shane Roberson: “In around March I knew there was a possibility of me going to Signal Mountain. I let Tim and his mom know I probably wouldn’t be back at LFO the next year. Tim’s graduation test scores were something I used to discuss with his mom that there would be a decision they needed to make. I was advised to encourage Tim to get back to Tennessee because of the difficulty he was having with the graduation test. I let Tim and his mom know I wouldn’t be at LFO the next school year to help him with academics or his graduation prep.”

  • 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.

10:01 a.m. Shane Roberson: “It was in the works for me to get back to Signal Mountain. My kids go to school there, I live three miles from campus and there was a time I thought I would be the baseball coach there. I was contacted by Tim’s mother wanting to know if it was possible to get Tim to Signal Mountain.

10 a.m. Shane Roberson: “I was at LFO for two years, last year being my last. I was making sure Tim was going to class, turning in assignments and acting like he should. I’m not his dad, but by most people around the school, I was looked at that way. Coaches and teachers would talk to me about him and I would call his mom with any concerns.

9:59 a.m. Shane Roberson is now introducing himself:

“I have lived on Signal Mountain the last 10 years. Tim has an infectious personality. He’s a big clown. He would come by my room and I would tutor him in math and I would take him home. It became a regular thing where I would take him home to his mom’s or grandmother’s house every day. We used that time to develop a relationship and it gave me some credibility with the other kids because he was a popular kid. It gave me a chance to talk to him about life and his goals and we developed a trust and a friendship. I saw a kid who was longing for that and I felt a desire to foster that.

9:57 a.m. Signal’s attorney was not introduced by McCullough as being an attorney. He said he was a Signal Mountain “resident”. The attorney gave away what he does for a living by calling Rick Colbert “your honor”. That got a chuckle from the Board as the attorney followed with “I guess I just gave away what I do for a living.”

9:54 a.m. Colbert is now reading a passage from Ward Gossett’s article on McClendon. Asking who Reggie Page was, and why he lived with him, since it’s stated in Ward’s story that he lived with Reggie Page. He’s now asking McClendon who he lived with while attending LFO and if he moved with his mother and why his original move was denied because he wasn’t a Catoosa County resident.

9:50 a.m. he meeting has more of a courtroom feel than any TSSAA hearing I’ve ever attended. Board members aren’t asking questions. The questions are coming from Rick Colbert and Signal’s side is being told mostly by an attorney (whose name was inaudible when he was introduced. I’ll have to ask his name afterward).

9:45 a.m. Tim McClendon: “I was having trouble with my Gateway test (which you need in Georgia to earn you high school diploma). I decided my best choice was to move back to Tennessee so I could have a better chance of earning my diploma. My mom asked me what schools I was looking at, so we called Shane for help.

“I get better help, extra help in English and Math at Signal Mountain. I feel like the teachers are really trying to help me there.”

  • photo
    In this file photo, Signal Mountain High School students excitedly wait for the start of Signal Mountain's season opening home football game on Friday. The Eagles were the 2010 State Champions for their division.
    Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

9:43 a.m. Tim McClendon:

“When I was at Fort Oglethorpe, Mr. Roberson was a coach and my teacher. Coach Roberson would talk to me about life and what I wanted to do besides football. He asked me what my goals were.

“I played in one game at Fort Oglethorpe. I hurt my knee in the second half and lost the rest of that year.

“Last spring I attended one day of practice and then I was there for the scrimmage at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. Coach Windham texted me and was saying some crazy things, so I showed up for the scrimmage. We just played against our own team. There were no officials there.

9:40 a.m. Tim McClendon is now introducing himself.

He is explaining how he met Shane Roberson at Orchard Knob.

“He was my math teacher.

“I played jayvee at Hixson. I didn’t play ball at all at Howard. I only attended Brainerd one day, when I got jumped.

9:35 a.m. His mother explained that she had Tim enrolled at Hixson because they have better educational help than Brainerd.

Colbert asks McClendon’s mother questions for nearly 10 minutes.

9:31 a.m. Rick Colbert asks, “where is Fort Oglethorpe in relationship to Chattanooga?”

TSSAA attorney Rick Colbert now grilling McClendon’s mother with several questions about where she lived in Georgia, whether Tim would come home to Tennessee when she moved back or if he stayed in Georgia, etc.

Asking why Tim had a hardship to attend Hixson instead of Brainerd as a freshman, when he was zoned to go to Brainerd. And this was before any incidents had happened.

9:27 a.m. “Shane didn’t approach us to get Tim to come to Signal Mountain. I went to him to see if he could help us get him to go to school there.”

9:25 a.m. “Tim called me and was talking about a test he took at the school and said he was ready to come back to Tennessee and go to school there. He moved back home to Tennessee. We had a conversation about him going to school in Tennessee. We knew that Brainerd or Howard were not schools we want him to go to. We started to see if we could get him to Signal Mountain and started seeing what to do to make that happen before school started. I called Mr. Roberson to see if he could help us get a hardship to go to Signal Mountain. I gave Shane the authority to see what he could do.

9:21 a.m. Tim's mother says he did not return to Howard for his junior year, which was the 2010-11 school year.

“I was having marital problems and had a friend who lived in Oglethorpe Apartments and said Tim and I could come live with her. We moved there, in Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and enrolled Tim in school there. He stayed there for the entire school year. Tim played in one game (football) and injured his knee in the second half. He tore his meniscus and required surgery.

“My husband and I reconciled and I returned to Chattanoga in December, but Tim remained at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.

“Shane Roberson hadn’t coached Tim until this year. Shane was just basically there for us, helping get Tim to focus on getting his grades up to par. He’s been helping with Tim’s education.

9:19 a.m. Call Tim McClendon’s mother, (can’t tell if she said Alta Mae Reynolds) difficult to hear her first name

“I live in Brainerd. Tim attended Orchard Knob middle school where he met Shane Roberson. Mr. Roberson was not a coach, he was a teacher there. He and Tim developed a relationship when Tim was in eighth grade.”

While she tells the board Shane Roberson was not a coach, she calls him “Coach Roberson”.

She explains that Tim was “jumped” by five guys at Brainerd, who beat him up, kicked him and stole the chain from his neck. He then went to Howard High School.

There is paperwork from Brainerd administration, documenting the incident and reason for Tim’s transfer.

9:14 a.m. Board member chairman Mike Reed asked Dr. McCullough to speak.

Dr. McCullough begins to familiarize the board with the school.

“For 50 years there was a middle school on Signal Mountain and three years ago we built a high school. Of our 1,330 students, about 129 of those attend out of zone. Half of those are out of zone through the no child left behind act. Six of those participate in athletics.

“There’s a lot of pride in our community. Our parents are very involved.

When our school opened, the number of kids from Signal Mountain who attend a private school in Chattanooga dropped from 38 percent to 10 percent.”

  • photo
    Tim McClendon, a senior running back/line backer for Signal Mountain High School, stands on the sideline as teammates practice at their home field. McClendon is under investigation by the TSSAA for living in a district outside of that which feeds SMHS making him uneligible to play on the team.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

9:12 a.m. There are 12-15 Signal Mountain administrators, coaches, parents, etc. Seated on one side of the room together. Bill Price and his wife, Dr. Tom McCullough, Chip Baker, Shane Roberson and Tim McClendon are all present.

9:09 a.m. The room is silent as board members read over the documents.

Tommy Layne is seated in a chair in the aisle in the back of the room, craning his neck to see what is happening.

9:06 a.m. Bernard is asking the board to look over the transfer rule and eligibility form that all schools must fill out online. Also a copy of Signal Mountain’s online form that was filled out.

“I won’t spend a lot of time going over that or our letter we sent to Signal Mountain. Those are there for you to look over and discuss and I will answer any questions.”

“I want to take a few minutes to give the board the opportunity to look over the letter the TSSAA sent to Dr. McCullough and Signal Mountain on Oct. 7.”

9:03 a.m. After the Board of Control cleared the room to meet privately for several minutes, the room was reopened and the meeting began on time.

TSSAA attorney Rick Colbert begins the meeting by making a statement.

“Tommy Layne and I met this morning and we agreed in fairness he would excuse himself from the meeting. He is sitting in the audience but will not be voting.”

9:02 a.m. The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association is preparing to hear an appeal from Signal Mountain High School about a ruling delivered Oct. 7 that Signal would have to forfeit six football victories for playing an ineligible player.

Moments before the start of the scheduled 9 a.m. meeting, the members of the TSSAA board cleared the meeting room to confer among themselves. There has been no announcement when the appeal will start.

Normally there are nine people on the TSSAA. There will be six TSSAA board members that will review Signal’s appeal.

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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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dlogic said...

So far, Chip,Price, and McCoullough all look bad.

October 20, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

Interesting how Chip Baker fails to mention that Tim McClendon is, in fact, eligible for an NCLB transfer to one of two great schools - Ooltewah and Sale Creek. He had options other than Brainerd or Howard.

October 20, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.
fan said...

dlogic, I'm not questioning what you said, but why do you think they are looking bad ?

October 20, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

I know I've said it before, but I find it very hard to believe that people who have been teaching and coaching as long as Price and Roberson simply don't understand or were unfamiliar with the rules. Claiming ignorance only makes them look like they're trying to hide something.

October 20, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
footballmom said...

Have they really said anything we didn't already know?

October 20, 2011 at 11:56 a.m.
Courtney10161 said...

we love you tim, we'll be behind you no matter what.

October 20, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
AlcoaF5 said...

Layne, by not leaving after recusing himself, played right into Covert's hands.

October 20, 2011 at 11:58 a.m.
Thereal423 said...

How does Signal play 4a when they have 1300+ student's?

October 20, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.
Pizzaguy said...

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead, yet this sad story of H.S. Football leads the news on the TFP. How sad to think H.S. Football is the end all, be all in Chattanooga.

October 20, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
jsnewman said...

I don't get why Chip Baker was relevant in the first place other that the fact he's Chip Baker... The TSSAA needs change somethings but Hamilton County needs to look at some issues too. The relationships that Roberson has outside the classroom are noble and admirable but it also opens up issues and liabilities for Hamilton County. While the TSSAA's paperwork was open to review, why did they forget to take the transfer paper work? They brought ole' pompous Chip with them. Why not the transfer papers? I feel badly for the Signal Mountain folks but there own testimony doesn't pass a smell test. As for Tommy Lane... no one is questioning his integrity but he's the one with egg on his face. Let him live with it.

October 20, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
kh said...

Thereal423, it is a grade 6-12 school with combined 1300+ students.

October 20, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

First of all baker did not fail to say anything, because mclendon is a hardship student not nclb. second the only person that looks bad is layne for showing up and expressing his emotions in the back of the room, and either way his actions have set his team up for a priceless beeting next week.

October 20, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.
fan said...

pizzaguy, you are right, but don't forget you are in this forum as well !!!

October 20, 2011 at 12:07 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

I thought Signal Mountain already had a middle school, did they build beside the middle school or add on to the middle school? How many do they claim to the TSSAA for the high school for classification?

October 20, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
smmom said...

TSSAA's attorney clarifies that they were on an 8 day trip. Are there no phones, computers, fax machines in West TN? Mr. Childress was at the state golf championship, which WE WON, but no one could contact Signal Mountain until Oct 6??

October 20, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
reallytruly said...

So let me get this right, Tommy Layne sits on the TSSAA Board and is a rival school of Signal Mountain? and Knew about this before the School's AD. Signal is screwed on this. What I find odd is 6 other athletes are playing there out of district. (I know it is because they are zoned for Howard) but c'mon man what is the difference.

October 20, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
kh said...

The old middle school was closed when the new combined school opened. And the new campus is not next to the old middle school.

October 20, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

I understand that , but how many student's does SM claim?

October 20, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

FbFan, read again:

11:10 a.m. Colbert, “The reason why Tim McClendon had to go through the hardship process is because otherwise he would have to attend Brainerd?”

Baker, “That is correct.”

That is actually not correct. Because Brainerd is considered a failing school, Tim McClendon had options. He could have easily filed paperwork to attend either Ooltewah or Sale Creek.

October 20, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.
fpsub said...

Is filling out eligibility forms usually the coach's job? I would assume that to be the AD's job.

October 20, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.
footballmom said...

I think they clarified.......There is more schools than Signal Mountain. They had other scheduled business to take care, and when they returned it was looked into. TSSAA is not going to notify everyone that's ever reported, they are going to make sure it is a legit concern first.

October 20, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.
jsnewman said...

fbfan21... I am not saying Baker hurt or helped. I am saying he wasn't relevant to the issue. Layne was there because he was on the Board of Control. He rescued himself and did not vote.

October 20, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
ENGLISHMAN said...

Thereal423 - They built a new combined Signal Mountain Middle High School (SMMHS). I am guessing there are around 500 High School students 9th through 12th grade. The old Middle School was sold and is now a Privately owned Athletic Gym and offices.

October 20, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

yes but he is not part of no child left behind. he is a hardship he could go to soddy, redbank, anywhere he got his hardship approved for. he was approved by hamilton county becuase signal had a higher standard for education, better ratings, and more counslers to accomidate tim. if he was no child left behind this wouldnt have even happend. If signal mountain hadnt won a championship in three years it wouldnt either. and if sequatchies layne hadnt tried to get his crap team in the playoffs they wouldnt get smacked upside the head next week.

October 20, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

They have high test scores and football scores, so why wouldn't he want to go to SM?

October 20, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
footballmom said...

In response to

fbfan21 said... First of all baker did not fail to say anything, because mclendon is a hardship student not nclb. second the only person that looks bad is layne for showing up and expressing his emotions in the back of the room, and either way his actions have set his team up for a priceless beeting next week.

Layne should control his emotions..but he was standing up for his school, because he felt it had been attacked (which it has). However he is not the one in question is he? NO. That would be the entire Signal Mountain administration. If you want to point out blunders, let's try " SM principal " I didn't bring the paperwork with me" really I believe anything that had the student in questions name on it would have been there! Unless, you really are trying to hide something.

October 20, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

Baker is the representative of district 2. He has a lot to do with it. Layne is tired of getting smoked and is accusing the team that is a bout to destroy his. he isnt relavent

October 20, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

So wouldn't SM having high test scores scare him a little, that's why he left LFO, wasn't it?

October 20, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

he left lfo because in georgia you have to have excellent gateway scores to graduate in tn you just pass and get a dipluma

October 20, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
footballmom said...

With that mentality fbfan21.....no wonder SM "has a target on their backs". Everyone is entitled to their opinion, threatening another team isn't getting you anywhere.

October 20, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

it's alright, if SM is able to score 70, they will. Starters in the entire game. That's how you get somebody back!

October 20, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
fan said...

schools having "above average" playing from areas outside thier school zone ar going to continue to happen a simple solution would be to put the "multiplier rule" on any pulice school that has athletes competing from outside their school zone, Signal has a couple of players that attend from outside the zone because their dads are police officers ( the players are good athletes) the "multiplier rule" currently applies to private schools that play in the public school league, they have to play in a larger classification than what their enrollment show because kids come from all over the city ( by the way just for clarrification,the Private schools that play in public leagues can not offer any type of financial aid to anyone that plays high school sport: teams like Baylor, Mccallie,GPS play in a seperate league Div. II since they provide scholarships ) basically Signal gets that same advantage and thats fine but they should have to compete at a larger division due to this advantage, at the high school level of football, just one or two "outstanding" players can make a big difference for a football team

October 20, 2011 at 12:36 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

I understand clearly the difference between an NCLB waiver and a hardship, but Chip Baker flat out lied when he said hardship to Signal or attneding his zoned school were his only options. They weren't. Tim McClendon was approved for a hardship because Roberson pushed it through (he mentions this in an earlier interview). I know Signal is a great school and I don't fault him for wanting to attend, but there was no real reason for the hardship other than his desire to stay with Roberson.

But honestly, the issue is that Signal Mountain didn't file the appropriate paperwork as they are required to do. Intentionally or not, they broke the rules and played a kid whose eligibility was based in incorrect and incomplete information. The whining about jealous schools doesn't absolve Signal Mountain or any other school from following directions on TSSAA paperwork.

October 20, 2011 at 12:36 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

Layne should control his emotions..but he was standing up for his school, because he felt it had been attacked (which it has). However he is not the one in question is he? NO. That would be the entire Signal Mountain administration. If you want to point out blunders, let's try " SM principal " I didn't bring the paperwork with me" really I believe anything that had the student in questions name on it would have been there! Unless, you really are trying to hide something.

OR that document belongs to the county? and you have to go to them to get it. And th tssaa and county are at odds completely here. I personally could name friends that go to schools in hamilton county on hardship and all play athletics. They were not questioned by a boardmember either. Because they didnt win. they were average. excuse signal mountain for having a good school? isn't that what every one wants?

October 20, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
runningman52 said...

I honestly think Dr. McCullough and Coach Price should be on campus doing what they are paid to do instead of wasting time and money appealing a situation where they were caught with their pants down cheating. Take the punishment and move on. I do wonder who is paying for this trip and time away from school? Taxpayers dollars?

October 20, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
Courtney10161 said...

they need to decide already before i have a heartattack

October 20, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

schools having "above average" playing from areas outside thier school zone ar going to continue to happen a simple solution would be to put the "multiplier rule" on any pulice school that has athletes competing from outside their school zone, Signal has a couple of players that attend from outside the zone because their dads are police officers ( the players are good athletes) the "multiplier rule" currently applies to private schools that play in the public school league, they have to play in a larger classification than what their enrollment show because kids come from all over the city ( by the way just for clarrification,the Private schools that play in public leagues can not offer any type of financial aid to anyone that plays high school sport: teams like Baylor, Mccallie,GPS play in a seperate league Div. II since they provide scholarships ) basically Signal gets that same advantage and thats fine but they should have to compete at a larger division due to this advantage, at the high school level of football, just one or two "outstanding" players can make a big difference for a football team

im pretty sure signal mountain is playing a division over the one they are barely even in.

October 20, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.
EagleEye69 said...

Bottom Line, If the kid is given permission to go to school there he should be eligable for all school activites including sports. The TSSAA should have to respect the local school board if they allow a student into a school, As I said BOTTOM LINE!

October 20, 2011 at 12:42 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

I can't wait to watch the Signal Mtn - Sequatchee County game in person next week!! From reading today's transcripts, I would say that Signal Mtn has defended themselves very well. I don't understand how the TSSAA can say McClendon is ineligible and that SMHS should forfeit all wins in which he played. Also, it is VERY FISHY as to why the TSSAA did not notify Signal Mtn until two weeks after they received word of this and began looking into it. 8 day vacation... I can't get an 8 day vacation from my work, and I'm nowhere near as important as these TSSAA people. My boss expects me to check voicemails and emails and return the important ones even when I'm on vacation. I would say the same for the TSSAA. Why did they wait to notify Signal Mtn about any of this? That essentially screwed them because had they sat Tim, they could have reached enough legitimite victories (assuming Tim is ineligible by TSSAA definition) without him to make the playoffs.

October 20, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
jsnewman said...

I want to know why the Chattanooga Police called McCullough. Why was CPD or any member involved in this in an official capacity? (It's Signal Mountain) Why did McCullough not call the coaches and the AD in over this. McCullough, “Before the season started, someone from the Chattanooga police department called to say that someone was looking into one of our new football players. He gave me Tim McClendon’s name. I had a lengthy discussion with Tim’s mother. The concern was, ‘where does Tim live?’. If someone at the police department was asking where he lives, I felt it was on me to determine where he lived.”

October 20, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

I honestly think Dr. McCullough and Coach Price should be on campus doing what they are paid to do instead of wasting time and money appealing a situation where they were caught with their pants down cheating. Take the punishment and move on. I do wonder who is paying for this trip and time away from school? Taxpayers dollars?

its fall break dumb ass, there isnt school right now. Teachers dont get paid enough anyways so why would you be upset if you helped the people that educate your children?

October 20, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

Fbfan, you are the kind that gives the majority of good people on Signal Mountain a bad name.

I personally could name friends that go to schools in hamilton county on hardship and all play athletics. They were not questioned by a boardmember either. Because they didnt win. they were average.

Or because their coaches are honest and/or competent enough to fill out the appropriate paperwork for athletes that play out of zone.

Believe it or not, everyone isn't jealous of Signal Mountain. Even if every school that Signal Mountain beat filed a complaint against the school, nothing would come of it if SM followed the rules. Intentionally or not, they didn't. They got caught. Accept it.

October 20, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
fan said...

schools having "above average" playing from areas outside thier school zone ar going to continue to happen a simple solution would be to put the "multiplier rule" on any pulice school that has athletes competing from outside their school zone, Signal has a couple of players that attend from outside the zone because their dads are police officers ( the players are good athletes) the "multiplier rule" currently applies to private schools that play in the public school league, they have to play in a larger classification than what their enrollment show because kids come from all over the city ( by the way just for clarrification,the Private schools that play in public leagues can not offer any type of financial aid to anyone that plays high school sport: teams like Baylor, Mccallie,GPS play in a seperate league Div. II since they provide scholarships ) basically Signal gets that same advantage and thats fine but they should have to compete at a larger division due to this advantage, at the high school level of football, just one or two "outstanding" players can make a big difference for a football team

im pretty sure signal mountain is playing a division over the one they are barely even in. -- not for their regular season games ---- that is only for the playoffs and that was by choice so they didn't have to meet Alcoa who is in their division

October 20, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

What is the record for most points scored in a high school football game in the state of Tennessee?? I hope Signal Mtn breaks that record next Friday night at Sequatchee County!! And no, I'm not a Signal Mtn student or graduate, I just want to see a good team whip another team whose coach was secretly snooping behind the other team's back to get them in trouble so his sorry team could make the playoffs.

October 20, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

Or because their coaches are honest and/or competent enough to fill out the appropriate paperwork for athletes that play out of zone.

  • or because your not allowed to play if your not in zone? have you not read anything that is what this is about? a hardship extends the zone around the child. white or black in zone or out of the zone that child has every righ to play as a student in zone. thats why tim is apart of our family.
October 20, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

by blaiming sm your taking down every school in the area, but layne doesnt care he lives in bumble

October 20, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
jsnewman said...

I agree with AlmostAmanda... I was on Signal Mountain's side in this but after what was said and reported today... They're guilty. I don't know that the punishment fits the offense but it is the rules.

October 20, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
fbfan21 said...

ChattaVol06 said... What is the record for most points scored in a high school football game in the state of Tennessee?? I hope Signal Mtn breaks that record next Friday night at Sequatchee County!! And no, I'm not a Signal Mtn student or graduate, I just want to see a good team whip another team whose coach was secretly snooping behind the other team's back to get them in trouble so his sorry team could make the playoffs - meet my new best friend.

October 20, 2011 at 12:55 p.m.
fan said...

Hey "Chattavol06", and maybe nick saban will leave Richardson in the whole game, and set an NCAA record for touchdowns and yards and whatever else because as you say: I just want to see a good team whip another team whose coach (Fulmer) was secretly snooping behind the other team's back to get them in trouble so his sorry team could go to the SEC championship !!

October 20, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

have you not read anything that is what this is about? a hardship extends the zone around the child. white or black in zone or out of the zone that child has every righ to play as a student in zone

fbfan, I think you are the one who doesn't understand the rules or what this is about.

I'm a teacher in Hamilton County. I've never been an athletic coach, but I have some knowledge of the waiver process and clearing students for TSSAA eligibility in out of zone schools over the years. The only thing that makes a student a zoned player is living in the zone. A district-approved hardship or waiver means that they are allowed to attend a school that is not their zoned school. It is simply untrue that you are automatically allowed to play out of zone if the school district approves a hardship. TSSAA is the governing body that clears students for eligibility if they are out of zone. The process is actually pretty simple. You indicate on the student's eligibility form that he/she is out of zone. You then explain to TSSAA the reason for the hardship or waiver. TSSAA has the right to either agree to the waiver and declare the student eligible or reject the waiver and declare the student ineligible. If TSSAA marks the student as ineligible to play, he or she may still attend the school, but they are not allowed to play sports for the school.

October 20, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
shedidnot said...

I think that regardless of the outcome, there is a football game in Sequatchie County next Friday night!

October 20, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
footballmom said...

ChattaVol06 .....How did Barger get brought into this? Don't forget the kids that play for Sequatchie County is just as innocent as the Signal Mountain kids!!!!!!!!! You and everyone else with that attitude is just plain ignorant! You have a bone to pick with Layne then go pick it with him.......Signal Mountain has never shown good sportsmanship and never will under Price....Sequatchie will be on the field friday night and will play all 4 quarters.

October 20, 2011 at 1:07 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

footballmom: What is your prediction for the game? I think it will be 63-21 Signal Mtn winning. Just curious how you think it will turn out?

October 20, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
Courtney10161 said...

i predict 70 to 7

October 20, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.
tnfbfan said...

If you people can get this one concept then I'll be happy. Sequatchie Co. did not need to report Signal Mountain just so they can get in the playoffs. They are tied for the 3rd best record in 3A.

October 20, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Signal Mtn. is a 2A school, but the TSSAA allows any school to choose to play up to a higher class in any sport of their choosing. Since Signal football dominates in 2A, they chose to move up to 4A. There are plenty of schools in the state that choose to move up to a larger class. The only one I remember for sure was that when Red Bank won their 5A state championship in 2001, they were a 4A school.

October 20, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

When are they going to continue the meeting?

October 20, 2011 at 1:25 p.m.
art said...

SM will have to beat the Sequatchies and the zebras. I guarantee you TSSAA will bring in their "best".

October 20, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
VolsFan said...

Listen folks, I know Mr. Bill Price very very well, he knew exactly what he was doing when HE did the paper work. Bill will lie to his wife Debbie to win a game. I think SMHS attorney hurt them more than he helped. He should have never pointed his finger at Tommy Layne, all that did was make the other board members mad. Any one who has ever coached in the state of Tennessee knows that this case had to be filed as a hardship with the TSSAA. Hamilton County Schools CAN NOT make him eligible to play athletics, only TSSAA. Make no bones about it, Bill Price runs the show on the mountain, not Chip Baker, not the principal, and not the AD. No way that the TSSAA changes this ruling, who cares when the school was notified, everyone involved knew. So sit down and take your punishment like the big boys you want to be. Enough said!

October 20, 2011 at 1:35 p.m.
cooleyd3 said...

"Signal Mtn. is a 2A school, but the TSSAA allows any school to choose to play up to a higher class in any sport of their choosing. Since Signal football dominates in 2A, they chose to move up to 4A. There are plenty of schools in the state that choose to move up to a larger class. The only one I remember for sure was that when Red Bank won their 5A state championship in 2001, they were a 4A school."

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. SM is in 3A and chose to move up to 4A in playoffs to avoid Alcoa.

October 20, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

They might as well let big Tim play if he is ineligible. Whats it matter then?

October 20, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.
srick said...

All I got to say is Bill Price is a good coach but has always been like that if he doesnt win he will get someone to help him when. Bring them to Red Bank and see what happens to the rich kids. what about the kids that were drinking up there with the football team nothing happen to them either. They are not above the law they did to be disipline

October 20, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
tarheeljosh said...

Patty Lane, “Basically we have a bull’s-eye on our back. A lot of people are, I don’t know if you want to say jealous, but we have a large amount of good athletes that decided to stay home (on the mountain) instead of going to Notre Dame, Baylor, McCallie.

The attitude that surrounds this program is adding to it's problems. Many of the citizens of this community care nothing about the win/loss record of Signal Mountain football, but care greatly about the quality of individual that the school produces. The adults involved with this program keep falling back to "you're jealous", while rumors swirl around that rules are bent for their athletes. Teach these young men that there are consequences to actions, even if ignorance is to blame. I actually felt they presented a reasonable defense...until Ms. Lane's statement. We're not jealous; but we, as citizens of this community, have a vested interest in these young men's future. We need more men to step up like Mr. Roberson apparently has to show these young men that focus is necessary to improve themselves and less to take on the attitude that they are entitled to do as they please and everyone (including governing bodies) who disagrees is just "hating". Ugh.

October 20, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
tnfootballmom said...

tarheeljosh, unless you are a football player and are at every practice and every game you can not speak about what the coaches are teaching these players.

October 20, 2011 at 1:53 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

SRICK: Maybe you forgot that Signal and Red Bank played in a one quarter jamboree earlier this fall... Signal won 13-0.

October 20, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

SM needs to go and recruit a few more left behind, hard shipped players for defense from Howard, they sure give up a bunch on defense.

October 20, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
srick said...

Reading all these comments about beating them bad.. That is why The TSSAA is on them. I hope they lose the appeal because no one at the school can tell the truth and the truth being they win or they kids go to a private school. Let signal play RED BANK and see what happens there.

October 20, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

Red Bank hasn't beat a team above .500, the only team they've played with a .500 record beat the crap out of them.

October 20, 2011 at 2 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

Thereal423: SMHS gives up 26 points a game... not bad especially since they score about 48 points every game.

October 20, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

Sorry, they played East Ridge who is 4-4, tough one there!

October 20, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

Thats still a lot of points, if thats their average.

October 20, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.
fpsub said...

I agree with Tarheeljosh. The quote from Patty Lane is lame. I doubt the private schools reported them so why worry about them? Either you did everything correctly, or you didn't. Jealousy has nothing to do with the TSSAA's eventual ruling. And next time, get a lawyer from a better school than the Nashville School of Law.

October 20, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
greatwork said...

I wonder why...and for how long the transfer request form for eligibility for high school students has NOT been available for download on the T$$AA website?

October 20, 2011 at 2:08 p.m.
bsmith said...

SRICK: Maybe you forgot that Signal and Red Bank played in a one quarter jamboree earlier this fall... Signal won 13-0. ( no, red bank played McCallie, Signal was beaten by Bradley so maybe you forgot srick)

October 20, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

It looks to me that this entire case is based on a technicality due to a form interpreation - and that someone has it in for Signal Mtn coach Bill Price and the football team up there.

It was earlier reported that "several" coaches turned Signal Mountain in. 1. Who turned in Signal Mountain? 2. Why did they turn Signal Mountain in? 3. Which school or schools would stand to gain something if SMHS was disqualified?

I smell a rat - and it is not from Signal Mtn. Interpretation of rules is one thing - but turning another team in and going into hiding is another.

Clearly - no intent to deceive by Signal Mtn has been proved.

Clearly - no recruiting has taken place.

The Signal Mtn coach apparently has a few enemies - by being successful too soon ..... and winning by large margins. As I have followed this story - I have totally switched my opinion from - Ha! Someone got caught - to HA! Someone is trying to bring down a coach, a program, a school, a community- because that person is a backstabbing petty little jealous weasel that has no NADS to stand up front and center.

Through all of this - no one has mentioned who turned in Signal Mtn and what the basis was for them to do so. Yep! I smell a rat!

October 20, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.
reallytruly said...

You are right on Patty Lane's comments on Private Schools, SMHS thinks they are a private school. But there not playing in the Private School league. So the recruiting has to been tone down some.

October 20, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
bsmith said...

Dr McCullough seemed like to me he was trying to muddy the waters so to speak. His following line about the No Child behind kids was confusing. I am shocked the Tssaa didnt make him clarify how many hardship kids are playing sports at Signal instead of how many no child left behind kids are. There are many more hardship kids at Signal besides the one in question.

Dr. McCullough begins to familiarize the board with the school.

“For 50 years there was a middle school on Signal Mountain and three years ago we built a high school. Of our 1,330 students, about 129 of those attend out of zone. Half of those are out of zone through the no child left behind act. Six of those participate in athletics.

How many no child left behind kids play sports? Thats irrelevant. How many kids not zoned for Signal play sports?

October 20, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

I think that Patty Lane's comments were guided to the rumors that Signal Mtn HS recruited players - when in fact - the players that make up almost the entire roster - live on Signal Mtn.

Some of these players originally went to private schools - but transferred to the public school when it opened - whiched saved their parents tens of thousands of dollars.

With the economy the way it is - and if I was in that situation up there - I would probably do the same. Unless my child was getting a tuition break to play at the private school.

October 20, 2011 at 2:42 p.m.
James101 said...

Chip Baker always likes the spot light... And whatever happend to his son who got arrested for drinking and punching that kid in the parking lot at the football game.. All of a sudden that has gone away too... Hmmmmm.....

October 20, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

Again - who filed the complaint against Signal Mtn????

This person must have magically disappeared?

October 20, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
fan said...

chattVegas, there are opinions on both sides of the fence on whether Signal is innocent or not, just like Casey Anthony or O.J.'s cases, we can respectfully agree or disagree with a verdict it doesn't matter who "turned in who" on any of these or other matters ( their motive is irrelevant as well),
your rational is just like a large corporation that tries to destroy a whistle blower, It's okay to defend Signal but the person that reported that there "might" be something illegal has nothing to do with Signals innocence or guilt, if you have ever seen " crime stoppers" they encourage people to be informants or "rats " as you call it the one who turned them in ( requesting the TSSAA to look into the matter) in no way has a say as to whether the TSSAA finds Signal guilty or not, when Phil Fulmer testified against Alabama, their fans wanted to blame Phil for their own "wrong doings" if I see a suspicious looking person walking around your house do you want me to ignore it and not call "authorities" because you don't want meto be a "rat" because that person might be innnocent beause you had told him to snoop around I wish more people would have the courage to report injustices and wrong doings to help make Chattanooga a better place whatever happened to "Neighborhood Watch" ? It seemed like a good idea to me

October 20, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
srick said...

bsmith They played with a Tim who is not suppose to play at Signal. play with the right players and you will not win every game. Thank you so much.

October 20, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

James101 - according to the article in the paper. Chip Baker's kid did not punch the judges son. He pushed the kid after the kid yelled something ugly at him. Apparently - this in not the first time these two kids have not gotten along. These two kids probably need to stay away from each other - or figure out how to work out there differences.

I am sure he has a date in court - unless the parents have worked it out.

Not sure the relevency of your comment - unless this is yet another dig at the anything Signal Mtn.

They must be doing something right up there - with all this hate!

October 20, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.
James101 said...

I love the Signal Mtn Milfs though....

October 20, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.
ldurham said...

Too bad this question didn't come up: why would Signal Mtn, the worldwide school of excellence, hire a guy (Shane Roberson)who was let go by schools in Sequatchie County and Catoosa County, and doesn't even have a teachers license? And what a wonderful coincidence that he just happened to have a great football player in his back seat. How convenient.

Guilty. As sin.

October 20, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
shedidnot said...

NOT in your best w*# dream @ James101!

October 20, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
James101 said...

LFO , turned in Signal... I mean think about it , the kid bolted from their program right before he ended up at Signal.. So of course LFO is pissed.. And im all for techers or staff helping out kids and under privalged kids but when a guy gets up and says " Ive helped out 6 kids which 5 of the 6 were athletes " then something isnt right there.. Why are there not more kids who arent athletes that he has helped..

October 20, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.
TDMan said...

Signal has one last chance to even the score with Tommy Layne by capping the season on October 28th by beating Sequatchie High School 100 to zip. This grudge match will be settled where it should have been settled in the first instance: on the playing field, not by the TSSAA. Fans are about to see a gridiron battle the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Central vs. City rivalries of olde. GO SIGNAL!

October 20, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
ldurham said...

Hey Signal fans, while you've got that can of worms out there, here's another one for you to open. Do a little homework, and find out how many other "hardship" out-of-zone, non-athlete NCLB kids have been welcomed through your pearly gates. The answer: NONE. So if you want to live up to your self-righteous reputation, open your doors to all the kids who've been bullied at Brainerd and Howard, or who can't pass the test at LFO. Break down those walls! Send 'em to Signal!

October 20, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.
MCB778 said...

I cannot believe it took ldurham so long to join the conversation. I am not sure anyone has followed this with as much zeal and pleasure as she has.

ChattVegas - As for who turned Signal in I seem to recall that is was Sequatchie which might help explain why Tommy Layne had to recuse himself.

October 20, 2011 at 3:40 p.m.
TDMan said...

idurham McLendon says he wanted to get away from bad influences at Brainerd. Sounds like you might have been one of them.

October 20, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

fan - good respone and get what you are saying.

However, I think there is a big difference in what you are alluding to regarding criminal activity versus making accusations about a high school football players eligibility because your team got a beat down or you do not like the coach at that school. This really seems petty to me.

I doubt Signal Mountain will win this appeal.

I think that the fix is in as the Coach up there has a lot of people wanting to bring him down a notch for whatever reason. And Tim McClendon is a way to do it.

I do not have a dog in this hunt - except that to me, all of Chattanooga loses when I see the pettiness being communicated.

I am taking Signal's side because it is obvious to me that there was no intent to deceive or cheat or recruit and also the fact that the TSSAA rules can be open to interpretation.

If there was an attempt to deceive or cheat - then I would say this coach needs to go - and Signal needs to void the wins.

I am amazed at all the finger pointing that has gone on at Signal Mountain. This great community fought hard to get a school for decades - and the community is very engaged to make sure this school is top notch. I am also proud to see a revival of sorts at Central - and seeing RedBank being competitive and the new MS being built there - and the New East Hamilton school and the incredible support this school is getting from the community.

It is obvious that whoever turned in Signal Mtn had an axe to grind - and was not turning in Signal to protect the community, the player, the program or was done in the name of fair play. It is a payback play - and the fix is in.

After reading the history behind this kid - and how all of this came about. And the fact that the TSSAA had opportunity to advise Signal at sporting events (girls State golf championship)and by simply picking up the phone to communicate that a complaint was filed on the eligibility of a player - yeah, this is not really about Tim McClendon or the program - it is about a personal situation with Coach Price.

Whatever - sad to see this playing out in the city I love so much.

October 20, 2011 at 3:44 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

Yeah, TDMan, mature, honest adults who have been wronged by other jealous, vindictive adults always use children to fight their battles. Hopefully, others on the mountain and in Sequatchie just want the kids to go out there play a good, fun, safe game of football.

October 20, 2011 at 3:45 p.m.
ldurham said...

Sequatchie did not turn in Signal. People like "MCB778" love to spread that myth, with absolutely no proof. When you've displayed as much arrogance and bad sportsmanship as Signal, there is no shortage of folks who could have turned them in. I'll just say that whoever did it, has respect for the rules. Good for them.

October 20, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
gobigdaddy said...

The only thing that I have to say is that all of the Signal Mountain supporters need to leave well enough alone. The best thing for them to do is take the punishment and get over it, unless that is that they want to continue an investigation with the TSSAA to determine the eligibility of "# 3" "Donnie Garner" from last years "O' so legal State Championship Football Team". And before any of you idiots say anything about that one- yes, I actually know my facts, and pretty damn well.(Blackwell Family- really)

October 20, 2011 at 3:50 p.m.
ldurham said...

TDman: yes, McClendon wanted to get away from the bad influences at Brainerd. Far, far away. From Brainerd, to Hixson, to LFO, to Howard, back to LFO, then downtown, across the river, up a mountain and through the woods.

Can't blame him really. Now, will Signal take in the rest of the Brainerd kids who are looking for a way out, even the ones who aren't giant football players? If Signal will, then all of your recent PR about helping this child will ring true. If not, the stench continues.

October 20, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.
MCB778 said...

A TFP message board full of rumors may not be the best place to preach about rumors. As far as arrogance, ldurham - every post I have read of yours reeks of arrogance.

October 20, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
chattanooga said...

signal mtn is a 4A playoff team and Sequatchie County i believe is a 3A plaoff team....what does sequatchie have to gain???

October 20, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
James101 said...

Signal , if you want to be a private school then join the private school classifications and see how you do.. But wait , thats why they dont want to join any of the Div 2 Clasifications because all those schools would kill them.. So Signal is going to stay Public but want their own set of rules and recruiting and etc.. Just because yall have money and think yall are above everybody else doesnt mean yall can always set your own rules and get away with everything.. And in my opinion theres only one mountain around here that truly matters and thats Lookout Mtn.. Signal is just the " wanna be mountain ".. And NO , i dont live on either mountain but this is just my opinion from knowing people that live on both and hearing and reading stories through out the years about both mountains..

October 20, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.
Thereal423 said...

Of course there was intent to cheat. A coach from LFO moves to Signal Mountain, tells Signal Mountain coaches that there is a stud at LFO who isn't doing so well. Signal Mountain looks for a loophole to make it seem as if this kid is one of theirs. Oops, didn't move him far enough.

October 20, 2011 at 4:23 p.m.
bearhunter2 said...

mnt people you should be a shamed of your coach and adminstration for recuiting this kid. there is enough tallent on the mnt already. you dress what 75 players and need out of zone help. how many of those 75 actulaly hit the field. so bring out of zone keep your own from playing and get 6 loses. not a good move. even if TSSA reverses decision look all the bad publicly. along with fighting over the summer and alchol problems your school has had try flying under the radar.

October 20, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
ChattVegas said...

Just reminding Thereal423 and Idurham that it is HCDE that approves all hardships.

With that said - I have not witnessed any more arrogance out of Signal than other schools when they are on the top of their game like when Red Bank was great 10 years ago, or when McCallie was outstanding. Or the pride on the soccer field when my daughter played against Notre Dame, GPS, Baylor and Chatt Christian. Her team got seriously whipped - 10-0, 11-0, 8-0 - and there fans were very proud - some rubbed it in a little - but that's sports.

Funny - how a baseball team can get nailed big in a game - say 13-2 or your soccer team gets nailed - say 11-0 - and it is not an issue. These things happen. But if Signal beats a team 44-7 - everyone starts screaming that they are arrogant and guilty of piling on.

Poor losers!

Do not confuse supporting fans with arrogance.

As for the "fights" mentioned in earlier comments - I have seen the video of the Soddy / Signal fight. It was more about pushing and yelling - the teams were separated - then went back to playing. Both sides were involved - saw kids from both sides playing hard and pushing back.

Signal cancelled the rest of their 7 v 7 games.

The parent that hit the Soddy player - has been banned - he should have never been there to begin with.

Used to be Baylor and McCallie were the HATE schools.

Signal must be doing something right!!!!!

October 20, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

Signal should be ashamed that they offered a kid with a troubled past a great opportunity to play football and be taught by a great group of teachers who actually care for him and will spend extra hours with him to make sure he improves his reading comprehension and math skills. I know several teachers personally who have helped Tim and other students like him (athletes and non-athletes) at SMHS. Such a shameful place!! I'd never send my kid to a World Renown school whether I lived within the territory or had an option to file a hardship for him to go there... NEVER!! A great public school isn't worth it. I'd rather send him to Red Bank where they are failing on test scores and basic standards of education or be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars for him to go to ND, CCS, MCCallie, or Baylor.

October 20, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
James101 said...

Signal Mtn Principal has NO Balls.. After the Soddy Fight when Soddy decided to ban their coach for one game for what happend , Mr. Price went to the Principal and said word for word " If you ban or suspend me then i quit ".. Right there is just one example of many how Signal has no balls and how Price has been labled a bully at EVERY school he has ever been too.. Signal grow some BALLS and move into the Div 2 classification and see how good yall really are at sports.. No way Signal would even be able to compete with Baylor , MBA , McCallie , Ensworth , Brentwood and even the smaller Div 2 schools.. On a diffrent note , i sure do love all the Signal Mtn Ladies because they are all Milfs and Cougars.. And yes i know this for a fact that when the Hubby is away the women will play...

October 20, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
art said...

wow - the hatred and ignorance runs deep in this one.

October 20, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
steve_smith said...

The only people worse than old hippies more enamored with rules for trivial things must be sports folk. This is just a child's game, right? If a kid goes to school somewhere why in the world shouldn't that kid get to act in the H.S. play, go to the H.S. prom, compete on the math team or play football? Why does it matter if he plays in div. x, y or z cubed? It seems there should only be one "division" anyway - the high school division. If you are a high school, you can play other high schools if you want - but you certainly don't have to. After all - it's a child's game. And as far as recruiting, if a kid wants to play a game at a school because that school is good at the instruction of that game and that school educates the kid in the meantime, why is that a bad thing? It seems like a win-win situation to me. Don't we have schools for kids who like art? Drama?

Of course all of those positions I just proposed are silly. Why? Because the real focus ought to be on educating children and preparing them for a life on their own. What have I learned from this fiasco? That Georgia has higher graduation standards than Tennessee. Tennessee ought to take notice and emulate those standards. Instead of maintaining a system where there isn't enough money to provide actual books for every kid to take home, we've got a system where the TSSAA has enough money to keep attorneys on staff to interpret rules for children's games. Crazy, stupid, insane, bloated, self-defeating, inefficient. Any other words to describe the state of public education. If this kid can't get a diploma in Georgia, why do we continue a system that wastes money keeping him in a seat some other kid would kill to occupy just so the athlete can play a game?

October 20, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
ENGLISHMAN said...

Boy oh boy, the drama goes on. Whether Signal did this on purpose or not (and I doubt it) at the end of the day if the Appeal is dismissed, then it is the boys who lose out. This is their senior year for most of them and their last chance, and they have had their glories taken away and any chance of a State title. I would not care which school this was, it seems unfair to allow a child to attend school (authorized by HCDE) and then TSSAA decides separately whether they can play sports. That seems like too much power for TSSAA. Also there are other area athletes in the same predicament, not just at Signal. Now Homeschoolers who do not attend a school can play for the school team as long as they live in the school zone. Then you hear about soccer players playing for another school (out of zone that they do not attend) because their school does not have a soccer program. Come on folks, one rule for one, one rule for all. And leave the kids alone. If thia was an intentional 'error' then punish the school administrators that did it, and not the kids. But if it was a genuine error then let's hope that common sense and reason win out. And finally there is hatered for Signal. These negative posts prove that people who have 'no dog in the race' like to get involved and have their say and 'bash Signal'. Well freedom of speech allows their trash talk, but they are mostly ignorant when they claim Signal are rich snobs and have all the money. They had to pay to have their school built and are still paying for it. What have you done for your school and your kids? Signal has given a lot back to their community and elsewhere. There are plenty of Howard and East Ridge kids that are glad and happy to attend Signal. Signal is a great school because of all those involved and it is no wonder it is already overflowing and people move up the Mountain just so their kids can attend. Kids go to school to learn academics and not play ball, and check the stats, Signal has the results to show it is a great school. Instead of knocking the school, get off your rears, put your hand in your wallet and help make yours a good school too.

October 20, 2011 at 5:32 p.m.
bearhunter2 said...

chattvol06 kid has many chances to play football. i doubt the open arms would be there for him without his football tallents.

October 20, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
ldurham said...

So Coach Shane Roberson says that Tim McClendon couldn't pass Georgia's gateway test? And that's why he brought him to Signal with it's world-class academic classes? Seriously, you Signal folks should take this act to the Comedy Catch. Go to Georgia. Ask around. Find out how many recent students couldn't pass the Gateway test. It's not that hard. And if they didn't, let them tell you about how they got to take it over and over until they graduated.

For God's sake Signal, have some pride. At least tell the truth once in a while. So far, no such luck.

October 20, 2011 at 5:37 p.m.
bearhunter2 said...

nice point Idurham.

October 20, 2011 at 5:39 p.m.
Gmfe3 said...

Englishman. Your my best friend. oh snap you guys, your grown men and woman arguing about high school football HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm 18 and im more mature than you <3

October 20, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.
Gmfe3 said...

OH AND ANOTHER THING. i go to signal mountain and were living pay check to pay check. yes some people on signal have money. some do not. some people in sequatchie have money and some dont. some people on look out valley and some dont. OMG WERE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. You just dont like us. and thats understandable because were so successfull.

AND ONE MORE THING. we obviously have pride in our school. i mean were fighting back on what we believe to be right. so dont tell us to show some pride i mean PLEASE attend a school event and you'll see how much pride we have in our school.

you also dont realize how much this hurts our seniors. who have worked hard since the first day of practice theie freshman year. all that hard work could have been for nothing due to a misunderstanding and jealousy.

We love you Tim, and were behind you 100%. GMFE

October 20, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
tcrashfx said...

Here's an idea for ya, TFP.... When one prints a time stamped transcript, maybe starting the transcript when the covered meeting began and moving through to it's final conclusion, might be a good idea. Starting at the end and moving to the start does seem to flow like y'all usually flow, though. (Twitter has the software!)

What's next? Printing the verdict first and working backwards to the opening statements?

Idiots.

I had a cursory interest in the topic until I tried to read your time-stamped "Live Coverage" presented as Chinese Arithmetic. Then I lost interest. I'll get the factual, timely (and in order occurrence) info at Chattanoogan.com or Nooga.com tomorrow.

October 20, 2011 at 6 p.m.
spde said...

gobigdaddy said... The only thing that I have to say is that all of the Signal Mountain supporters need to leave well enough alone. The best thing for them to do is take the punishment and get over it, unless that is that they want to continue an investigation with the TSSAA to determine the eligibility of "# 3" "Donnie Garner" from last years "O' so legal State Championship Football Team". And before any of you idiots say anything about that one- yes, I actually know my facts, and pretty damn well.(Blackwell Family- really)

**Gobigdaddy, obviously you do not have your facts straight, so that makes you the idiot. Would love to hear more of those "facts" you seem to THINK you know.

October 20, 2011 at 6:10 p.m.
LZD2011 said...

Englishman, your arrogance shows as well! You say that other schools should have parents that reach into their pocket for their schools. Well, at the school my children attend there are multitudes of parents, including myself, that reach into our pockets to support our school. You say that these bashers, as you call them, hurt the students at SM, but you fail to realize that the students and student-athletes are very unfortunately the collateral damage in this fiasco directed by the administration at SM. They brought this on themselves, no one else did. It is a shame that the athletes have to suffer for sure, but they have no one to blame but the admin. All the SM supporters say that everyone is jealous and that is why people feel the way they do but the reason isn't jealousy, it is the way Coach Price conducts himself. I understand you think everyone there "loves" Price but do you know there are lots of people there that are NOT so loving of him. They are actually embarrassed by the way he acts on game night. I know that for a fact. I know if there were a different attitude with Price then there would not be this feeling of disgust with him. He is a great "instructor" of football because SM has wonderful athletes and I am very positive they have worked very, very hard all year but he is NOT a good role model at all! Most definitely not a role-model I would want for my kids. I know I am going to hear from the SM people to the contrary but it doesn't matter because he has proven himself otherwise.

October 20, 2011 at 6:19 p.m.
chattanooga said...

i think it looks good for signal mtn, if the rules are cut and dry, they seem to be, then the panel would have been able to come to a conclusion long before 5 hours of delberation. either they followed the rules or they didn't. can't be a lot of gray area. if they checked box that he was in zone and wasn't, what can you take 5 hours talking about. the delay looks good for the eagles.

October 20, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
art said...

gobigdaddy...Donnie lived on Signal with his parents. You are thinking of someone else...get your "facts" straight and do your research before spouting off bbs trash or SM hatred...or perhaps all African-Americans are the same to you? South still fighting in 2011???

October 20, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

The rules are cut and dry. I would be willing to bet the debate is down to two things: 1) Since it could be argued that this was a simple clerical error, should Signal Mountain get a free pass? 2) If they don't let it slide, how severe should the punishment be? Ruling it a mistake and giving a warning opens up the "clerical error" excuse to be used and abused by schools across the state, so I doubt that will be the outcome. The punishment, however, is another thing. Given that the mistake/deception was clearly made by the administrative and coaching staff, but the punishment does more to harm the kids than anyone else, I think there might be some changes with regard to vacating the wins. After all, I would hope that no one wants to see the kids punished for something over which they clearly had no control.

October 20, 2011 at 8:22 p.m.
canes0496 said...

Gobigdaddy, I am Mr. Blackwell and I am so interested in hearing all these facts that you have. As of now, your facts are 0-1. Not such a good start for someone that "knows" the facts. Gobigdaddy, I do not hide behind pen names, my name is Chris Blackwell and before you bring my family's name into this YOU had better know what you are talking about. Seems to me you do not, so in your best interest, stop while you are ahead.

October 20, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
rgp410 said...

You Go Chris! I get tired of people hiding behind pen names just to exercise their freedom of speech but really they are all just posers! If they really want to say whats on their mind then they should put their Real Names with their post! Thanks Chris.....Rob Payne

October 20, 2011 at 9:39 p.m.
urbanleader said...

durham is such a loser. It is obvious you are an immature woman. A person who talks alot but has nothing to say. If you read the updates and listen objectively, the inability of passing the graduation test came from the graduation coach at LFO and it was her suggestion for Tim to go back to TN where he would not have to take such a test to receive a high school diploma. By the way, I asked an administrator about his license. He has a special education license with an additional endorsement to teach middle grades math, science and k-12 PE/wellness which is what he teaches at Signal. Sounds pretty competent to me. Look it is obvious you are anti Signal and not objective in your comment/responses. All you have done is attack and accuse. You really are a sad individual.

October 20, 2011 at 10 p.m.
ldurham said...

Keep spinning that Signal Mountain spin that you spin so well. Did the LFO graduation coach tell him to go to Tennessee before or after he suited up to play football for LFO on May 20? Did she tell him he needed to go to an easier school, like, say...Signal Mountain in particular, where he wouldn't have to take "such a test" as you say? Were other failing LFO students also told to move to Tennessee (he did live in Georgia, right?) And there is a website, you know, that shows up-to-date information about teacher licensing and certification. Too bad it doesn't match up with what you say. What exactly is a transitional license? Was he rehired in Sequatchie County? Was he rehired in Catoosa County? What credentials did he "bring with him" to Signal Mountain?

October 20, 2011 at 11:19 p.m.
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