Controversial Miss. basketball coach forced to step down again

Jonathan Wall

Marlon Dorsey has been in the national headlines over the last couple of years, but the stories have been far from positive. Just last season, Dorsey was in the news for whipping his basketball players with a weight belt, even though corporal punishment has been banned in Jackson (Miss.) Public Schools since 1991.

The story caused a national firestorm that forced Murrah (Miss.) High School to fire Dorsey before reversing course, handing the coach a 25-day suspension and allowing to come back and coach.

As the Clarion-Ledger reported, it didn't take long for Dorsey to make headlines again for another reprimanding one of his players. Less than one year after the whipping incident, Dorsey was reportedly accused of "fussing at a player" following a November game against Yazoo City.

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The incident was then reported to school officials who informed Dorsey of the complaint. Instead of making a big deal out of the issue, the head coach decided to step down until the situation could be resolved.

"In order to not be a distraction, he (Dorsey) has elected to not coach until matters can be rectified with JPS," Dorsey's attorney, Thandi Wade, told the Clarion-Ledger. "He plans to contest all the charges."

The Clarion-Ledger reported that the incidents that occurred last season caused a division within the team, pitting parents against players due to the way Dorsey ran his team.

Despite the way Dorsey punished his players in the past, parents at Murrah have continued to support the coach, even with fresh allegations being made.

"We respect his decision to step down and to not be a distraction to the kids or the program," Gary Love, who heads the team booster, told the Clarion-Ledger.

Parents obviously want Dorsey to stay on board, but you have to wonder after what happened in 2010 if it makes sense for the coach to remain at the school. Everything that's gone on at Murrah in the past season has clearly taking the spotlight off the team and put it on the head coach.

And while that's not always a bad thing, being in the national news for the second straight season, for disciplinary issues, is the last thing a school needs. Hopefully the school can clear this up and get back to the play on the court in the near future.

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