When Michael Carson was fired from his longtime post as head football coach at Atlanta (Ga.) M.L. King High just days before the start of the 2012 season, everyone surrounding him in Georgia assumed that his time as a prep football coach were done. The circumstances surrounding Carson's dismissal were damning, with the coach caught in a sexting scandal with an underaged student, the kind of actions which would seem to prohibit the coach from working with teenagers again.
Evidently that's not the case. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, less than two months after his dismissal, Carson has announced plans to return to coaching via a rather innovative method: He's going to start his own post-graduate, one-year prep school.
Unable to get another more available high school job in Georgia, Carson knew that he would need to convince people to give him another chance. He attempted to do that at King but, quite understandably and expectedly, met with plenty of resistance. Outreach to other schools seemed to yield similar results.
That's why the coach has now decided the only way forward for him is to start an entire school from scratch. The amazing thing is that Carson might just be successful with his rather optimistic venture because of a long history of helping land his best athletes on college rosters.
"I'm responsible enough to admit that I made a mistake, and all I can do is ask for forgiveness," Carson told the Journal-Constitution. "I'm guilty of being weak at a time when I should have been strong, knowing that I had a family here and a wife who has been supportive through this ordeal. All I can do is ask her and God for forgiveness and move on.
"My record speaks for itself as it relates to me dealing with kids. I think kids will see the value in that. I'm wholeheartedly committed to them and want the best for them."
Part of Carson's pitch for his new school is that it will help student athletes reach the stricter academic standards that are set to be ushered in for NCAA qualification in the years ahead.
That's where Carson's proposed Georgia Prep Sports Academy will come in. The entire aim of the school, as described by Carson, will be to provide a low-cost foray into competition against Georgia collegiate JV and freshmen teams. The idea is that if Georgia Prep players excel in those games, that might be enough to earn them a four-year scholarship at one of the schools they play, or another school with scouts on hand.
In the process, Carson claims that the players who join the program will be given structure and a forum in which they can mature. The hope will certainly be that the coach shows signs of that same maturity himself, as well.