Coach Accused Of Paddling Boys After Team Lost Game
(GARY, Ind., January 24th, 2005, 9:55 a.m.) -- An elementary school basketball coach faces battery charges for allegedly paddling several of his 13-year-old players for poor shooting after a loss.
Thayer L. Williamson, 31, was charged with three counts of felony battery alleging that he used a wooden paddle as punishment for the boy's poor performance.
The alleged corporal punishment came to light after several of the boys told their parents. A school nurse told police she examined every boy on the team and 11 of the 12 players had bruises, welts or swelling on their buttocks the day after the paddling.
Lake County prosecutors said Williamson was upset about his Melton Elementary School team losing badly in a Nov. 16 game. The next day, he allegedly brought a duct-tape wrapped wooden paddle to practice, according to the affidavit.
He held the paddle in his hand and as each player stepped to the free throw line, he asked them "Why did I lose?" the affidavit said.
"I'm going to motivate you all," Williamson reportedly told the boys. "Shoot free throws and for every one you miss, you're getting beat."
The 13-year-olds got from five to 20 swats, the report said.
Williamson told the students they could leave if they wanted to, but warned them "you won't be on another basketball team in your life," the affidavit said.
One boy told police Williamson had him up against the gym wall as he hit him. During one of the swats, the boy hit his head on the wall, the affidavit said.
The coach called the player's mother after he told Williamson he had a headache.
When she arrived, Williamson allegedly told her he had to paddle the boys.
"I am not teaching no ladies," the affidavit said Williamson told her. "I am showing them how to be men. I put the paddle to them for losing."