Center Grove football coach did intimidate and embarrass students, will keep job

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (WTHR) — Center Grove High School’s head football coach will keep his job, despite an investigation that determined he engaged in questionable behavior toward his players.

The school district launched an investigation three months ago after multiple complaints that coach Eric Moore abused his position by bullying, harassing and intimidating students.

Friday night, Center Grove released a statement to explain the results of the investigation, which included interviews with 42 people.

The outside, private attorney hired by Center Grove substantiated allegations that Moore used inappropriate language and that he intimidated and embarrassed students. The investigation also determined claims that the coach engaged in aggressive physical contact were credible but did not rise to the level of actual abuse.

Other allegations against Moore were not substantiated, including reports that the coach pressured athletes to return from injuries, violated IHSAA rules about practices, and interfered with parents and students contacting college recruiters.

Through the investigation, Center Grove Schools said it identified "a larger, systemic issue within the culture of our extra-curricular activities." As a result, the district will outline expectations for its coaches and sponsors of other extra-curricular activities in a handbook. Center Grove will also draft guidelines for students to help them understand “how they should be treated” and what resources are available to them.

The investigation "is prompting changes that will impact the culture in all of our extra-curricular activities," the Center Grove statement says.

The school district won't say what discipline – if any – it is taking against Moore following the investigation. The statement does say he is not being demoted, suspended without pay or terminated. Several of the behaviors Coach Moore engaged in - those that were substantiated by the investigation - are mentioned in and prohibited by the school district's own Bylaw 3362 Bullying Policy.

The district acknowledged an outpouring of support for Moore during the investigation. Now in his 18th year as head football coach, boy’s track coach and a physical education teacher at Center Grove High School, Moore was permitted to coach and teach during the investigation.

"The lasting impact he has had on the lives of many of our students is undeniable," the school district statement says. "As we move forward, we will support Coach Moore and all of our coaches and sponsors, while providing accountability to our high standards."

Center Grove communications director Stacy Conrad has not yet responded to WTHR’s requests for more information about the school district’s investigation.

You can see the full statement about the Coach Moore investigation here.