Last week, an assistant coach at a Tennessee high school was arrested after it emerged that he had vandalized his own fieldhouse in an attempt to fire up his team before the big game. He's not the only Keystone Kop on staff. Three assistants were apparently involved with the vandalism, and one is accused of breaking into a rival school to steal playbooks‚ÄĒall at the behest of the head coach.

That head coach has resigned, and three assistant coaches have been relieved of their duties, two of them arrested, after obscene graffiti showed up on Marion County HS's fieldhouse the night before the game against rival South Pittsburg. The perfect crime! Except that there were surveillance cameras at the fieldhouse. And and the local Walmart, where one coach purchased 10 cans of spraypaint hours before the vandalism. And text messages between the coaches show them preparing to do the job.

Here's Michael Schmitt and Tim Starkey debating whether they should go through with it:

Oct. 31, 8:57 p.m., Starkey to Schmitt: "I really don't feel like it. I may play sleep on his ass we don't need all that to win. If I get to sleep I want to stay.

Oct. 31, 8:58 p.m., Schmitt to Starkey: "Me too. I just don't want [head coach] Mac [McCurry] to get pissed for me not doing it

Oct. 31, 8:59 p.m., Starkey to Schmitt: "Is he wanting it done that bad"

Oct. 31, 9:00 p.m., Schmitt to Starkey: "Yes"

Text messages also reveal that Starkey had broken into South Pittsburg's fieldhouse that week to steal playbooks, and it wasn't the first time this season he'd done it.

Oct. 29, 7:56 a.m., Starkey to Schmitt: "That's why I got his offense play sheet he wants to run. I was going to make copies but I just took the [expletive]. They can't prove I got it or did anything copies but I just took the [expletive]. They can't prove I got it or did anything."

Oct. 29, 7:58 a.m., Starkey to Schmitt: "All got there Offense of book and D like you got of Dunlaps also. I am going to bring it to school so its not on me."

Oct. 29, 7:59 a.m., Schmitt to Starkey: "That [expletive] is funny! [Expletive] them. I hope we beat their ass and are ready to fight after game!"


There's also evidence that Marion County's head coach paid a former college player to take part in practices, which is illegal but relatively run-of-the-mill prep shadiness compared to the ineptitude of the rest of these schemes.

Oh, and Marion County lost the big game anyway. Got creamed. Stolen playbooks and manufactured inspiration can only do so much.

[Times Free Press]