He won’t face charges but will he coach his Charlotte Independence football team against the Page Pirates in Greensboro on Friday night?
Here’s the most recent news from Langston Wertz Jr. of the Charlotte Observer and www.charlotte.com:
Independence High football coach Tom Knotts won’t face charges, but he doesn’t know if he’ll be allowed to return to his team.
Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist said his office won’t file charges after Knotts’ altercation last week with a parent at a junior varsity game.(there’s another Pete Gilchrist that used to be the coach at West Charlotte and now he coaches at North Forsyth)
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said Knotts will remain suspended with pay until an internal investigation is completed.(How long will that take?)
Independence (9-2), which has won seven straight state championships, will play at Greensboro Page on Friday in the first round of the N.C. 4AA West playoffs.(Independence has not played a road-playoff game since November of 2000)
Knotts was suspended Friday after an incident at the end of a junior varsity game the night before at Butler High. Knotts got into a confrontation with Isaac Richardson Avant, 42, the parent of a Patriots’ sophomore player, after a 15-14 loss to Butler.
Isaac Avant Jr., the father of Isaac Richardson Avant, told the Observer Wednesday night that he and his two sons drove to Charlotte from Philadelphia on the day of the game to watch the game. Isaac Richardson Avant’s son is a sophomore at Independence who lives in Charlotte with his mother, who has remarried.
Avant Jr. said the family was upset with a play call late in the game that led to Butler getting the ball back for a winning score.
“We felt the game kind of got away from the coach,” he said. “After the game ended, we were giving them (Independence coaches) the business. That’s part of the game. As we were leaving, the coaches became annoyed by us. They left from under the goalposts and approached us trying to shoo us out of there.”
The grandfather said Knotts came to the fence and pushed it into his son’s face. Avant Jr. said his son did not curse Knotts until he was hit by the fence and suffered cuts that required three liquid stitches on his nose and one under his eye. The grandfather said the family followed police to a hospital after the game. At the hospital, he had his son take a breathalyzer test because he’d heard some fans claim the three men were drunk.
“When the fence hit him, blood shot everywhere,” Avant Jr. said. “That was the first time you heard a curse word come from my son’s mouth.”