Scott 2 Board of Education terminates basketball coach’s contract

The Scott County School District 2 Board of Education unanimously approved to terminate Scottsburg High School boys basketball coach Brent Jameson’s coaching contract during a midday meeting on Wednesday, March 18. Although his coaching contract was terminated, the decision does not affect Jameson’s teaching contract at SHS.

“The recommendation and basis for termination of the aforementioned contract stemmed from unprofessional conduct negatively impacting student-athletes, parents, Scott 2 staff, and other IHSAA-member staff, leading to the loss of confidence in the individual’s ability to effectively oversee the basketball program,” according to a statement released by the school district on March 20.

Jameson was named the 21st coach of the boys basketball team in 2016, succeeding retired coach and teacher Brady Wells. Before Jameson, the team had a record of one win and 22 losses. This year under Jameson, the team ended with 14 wins and 11 losses.

Following Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders on public gatherings, the Board met to discuss personnel issues and to approve resolutions related to COVID-19.  Audience member chairs in the boardroom were spaced out, leaving several feet between each chair, and the number of members in the room were limited to no more than 50 people as per the Holcomb’s guidelines. Additionally, a camera was set up for closed-circuit broadcasting to allow other members of the public to watch the meeting in an overflow space because of the state restrictions on crowd size. 

Despite the spread of the COVID-19 global pandemic into nearby counties, students, parents, and other community members attended the Board meeting to support Jameson.

In a letter addressed to the Board written by Emily McGinnis, the mother of Ethan (12) and Kyle (9), she detailed an occasion when Ethan suffered an ACL injury in 2019.

“If it wasn’t for Coach Jameson’s uplifting words of encouragement and keeping Ethan 100 percent involved in the program, I am not sure Ethan would have been able to make it through such a difficult time in his life,” McGinnis wrote in her letter, which was read aloud during the meeting by Christy Coomer.

Eugene Roush, the father of basketball player Javis (10), said Jameson had a considerable impact on Roush’s son.

“‘Dad, I want to go. My coach always has my back. I want to have his back,’” Eugene Roush said, recalling the conversation he had with his son before the meeting.

In addition to the parents, some of Jameson’s past and present basketball players were in attendance at the meeting on Wednesday.

“At the beginning of the season, we had a little bit of a feud as a team. It was more like a misunderstanding — a miscommunication,” said Brantley Deaton (12), a varsity basketball player. “The players directed a letter that we eventually ended up tearing up and throwing in the trash, and it may have gone to you guys. It may have not; I’m not sure, but we all sat down and had a collective meeting.”

During a team meeting with Jameson, Deaton said Jameson reassured the team that the “misunderstanding” would cease to exist.

“[Jameson] promised that he would eventually, that he would become better and coach in a different way,” Deaton said. “In my opinion, he did that, and he kept his word…”

After 15 minutes of public comments, Board President Josh Mays responded to the visitors before proceeding through the agenda. He said the Board was listening to all the audience members but could not comment legally.

“The Board can’t comment on any of this because it’s a personnel issue,” Mays said. “That’s in fairness to Coach Jameson, and that’s the law.”

The Booster reached out to Jameson, but he has not immediately responded to requests for comment.

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