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‘Misunderstanding’ lands Culbreth three extra games of suspension

An apparent misunderstanding concerning a suspension — which games, and how many games, a highly successful Farragut High School soccer head coach had to sit out after being served a red card — has resulted in three extra suspended games.

Wallie Culbreth, FHS Boys Soccer skipper, has been suspended three games as ruled by TSSAA less than 48 hours after serving a one-game suspension Sunday, April 3, in a 2-1 Admirals loss to Notre Dame.

Assessed a red card for a bench argument in Farragut's eventual 2-1 victory against Collierville Friday evening, April 1, Culbreth — according to FHS athletic director Dwayne Simmons — should have began a two-game suspension Saturday, April 2.

But Culbreth was on the FHS sideline coaching his Admirals to a 5-2 victory against Germantown Saturday during Bearden Invitational play at BHS (See related story beginning on page 2C).

“You're not supposed to coach the very next game, and he did,” Simmons said Tuesday, one day after his conversation with Gene Menees, TSSAA assistant executive director who advised Simmons of Culbreth’s fate. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

Culbreth said his participation in Saturday's game “was a misunderstanding” of the ruling against him, adding he thought the red card was a “soft red” that only required immediate expulsion from the Collierville game.

“My understanding was the school determined the [one game] suspension,” Culbreth said, adding he thought it only applied to the Notre Dame game.

Originally a four-game suspension handed down Monday, Simmons said Farragut principal Michael Reynolds talked to TSSAA officials Tuesday, “and they knocked one game off.”

Farragut's next three scheduled games include a huge home showdown versus powerful Maryville beginning at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 12.

Also included is a trip to West (played Wednesday, April 6, after deadline) and a home game versus Pigeon Forge beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, April 8.

Simmons said Menees “was a little upset, because he thought [Culbreth] should have known not to coach” Saturday.

Though he admittedly took issue with a penalty kick call against his Admirals in the Collierville “red card” game, Culbreth said it was someone on his bench, not him, that made the remark resulting in the red card.

According to Culbreth, neither he nor any of his assistant coaches had ever been red-carded during Culbreth’s first nine seasons as FHS head coach (2002-2010).


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