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Controversial coach in Mississippi in another dispute

“It was alleged that he fussed at the boys too much after a game,” said Thandi Wade, Dorsey’s attorney, referring to a Nov. 17 game against Yazoo City.

Dorsey was told of the complaint about a week ago, Wade said.

“In order to not be a distraction, he (Dorsey) has elected to not coach until matters can be rectified with JPS,” Wade said. “He plans to contest all the charges.”

Wade could not elaborate on what the fussing involved.

Last season, Dorsey made national news for whipping players with a weight belt even though corporal punishment has been banned in JPS since 1991. After the whippings were reported, Dorsey was fired, but shortly thereafter, was allowed to accept a 25-day suspension and resume coaching , according to court documents.

JPS interim Superintendent Jayne Sargent has said through a district spokesperson that she will not comment because of employee confidentiality rights.

Dorsey, along with other Murrah and district officials, is a defendant in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of three players who say they were whipped by the coach for missing plays in practice. Dorsey admitted to whipping the players but said it was because of disciplinary problems, according to court records.

One of the players, now in college, said he was whipped about 15 times in one day.

The plaintiffs also allege Dorsey was verbally abusive, calling players names like “sissy,” “wimp” and “soft.” In the deposition, he admits calling players “soft.”

In the deposition, Dorsey admits to cursing in front of the student athletes but denies calling any a “b—-” as is alleged in the lawsuit.

According to the deposition, he said, “I never used that language or recall using that language toward a player.”

One of the plaintiffs testified he was late for school one morning because lingering pain from a previous whipping made it difficult for him to get dressed, get in and out of the tub and sit down for the drive to school. He said he began to suffer from low self-esteem and lost weight because he had stopped eating.

That young man also testified he was first whipped Oct. 19, 2010, for missing a layup. A few days later he was given 15 licks in one day, according to court documents.

“That was the most painful day I ever experienced in my life,” he testified.

He also said that season was the worst of his life.

Dorsey repeatedly said during his deposition that he made a mistake. In a line of questioning, Ross asked him about whipping players for cursing when he had used profanity toward them. “Only thing is nobody hit you, right?” she asked.

“Yes,” Dorsey answered.

When Ross asked who hit him, Dorsey responded, “the Lord.”

The controversy involving Dorsey caused division among parents and the players last season.

But “an overwhelming majority of the parents want to see Dorsey remain as head coach,” Wade said Wednesday.

“We respect his decision to step down and to not be a distraction to the kids or the program,” said Gary Love, who heads the team booster club and is a supporter of Dorsey.

“We do truly want him to stay on as our coach,” Love said.

Cheryl Maberry, whose son plays basketball for Murrah, said he never had problems with Dorsey.

“He always made sure that their grades came first,” Maberry said.

“I had a nephew who played at Lanier for coach (Thomas) Billups and he was way tougher on them,” she said. “But that’s their way of getting the players to play up to their potential. They want what’s best for the players.”

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