COLUMBUS, Ind. — Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. officials will meet Thursday to examine photographs of an in-game altercation between two Columbus North High School football coaches to determine if the punishments levied against them are appropriate.
Head coach Tim Bless and offensive line coach Aaron Karrer have been suspended for the team’s next game, the sectional tournament opener Oct. 27 against Jeffersonville. Bless also has been suspended from football team activities this week.
A verbal and physical altercation between the two coaches occurred on the team’s sideline after the first play of the second quarter of Friday’s regular-season finale at Southport, when North missed a field goal.
Photos of Bless and Karrer, captured by freelance photographer Greg Jones who was covering the game for The Republic, show the two coaches in each others’ faces and with their hands on each other’s upper bodies.
After seeing the photos, North Principal David Clark said he was disappointed for the coaches because of the impact of their actions.
“Everybody has to take responsibility for their mistakes. I preach that mistakes happen,” Karrer said when addressing the North football team after practice on Tuesday.
“Character reveals itself. It’s what you do moving forward from that mistake. It was a mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Karrer said.
Clark said he, Superintendent Jim Roberts, Athletics Director Jeff Hester, Director of Secondary Education Bill Jensen and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Teresa Heiny will participate in Thursday’s meeting to review the photos and discuss a possible message to the student body.
During the meeting, Clark said they hope to determine if the photographs change initial thoughts on the coaches’ punishments, and, if so, how?
They would also discuss possible next steps.
In addition to examining the photographs, school officials will discuss whether the issue should be discussed with the student body, and if so, how, Clark said.
“Now that we have photos, we will evaluate those and make sure what we announced as our decision is most appropriate, and we will continue to have dialogue,” Roberts said.
Read more in Thursday’s print edition of The Republic.