Another Oregon prep football coach arrested, this time for assault

Prep Rally
Michael James Cole, 28, faces assault charges after allegedly punching a player -- Oregonian
Michael James Cole, 28, faces assault charges after allegedly punching a player -- Oregonian

It hasn't been a good week for Oregon prep football coaches.

First, Oregon City (Ore.) High head coach Kevin Strasser was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing and pawning a student's watch. True story.

Later that same evening, police apprehended Lake Oswego (Ore.) Lakeridge High volunteer coach Michael James Cole for allegedly assaulting a player during practice, according to another Oregonian report. Bad times.

When a teammate accused Portland State University-bound senior defensive end Marqueese Royster of missing his assignment, a shoving match ensued and members of the Pacers restrained the 6-foot-1, 251-pound Royster, the report said.

That's when the 28-year-old Cole, standing 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, reportedly took it upon himself to resolve the situation in the worst way possible -- by punching the defenseless 17-year-old Royster in the face. Not good.

"You never touch a kid. Get off the field," Lakeridge defensive coordinator Jimmie Thomas yelled as he tackled Cole to the ground, Lake Oswego Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tom Hamann told the Oregonian.

Royster's mother reportedly called 911 upon witnessing the incident first-hand. He spent the night in Clackamas County Jail on assault and disorderly conduct charges before posting $1,100 of his $11,000 bail. Cole has been suspended from his volunteer post pending an investigation and is scheduled to appear in court next month, the report said.

Oddly, Cole transferred from Lakeridge to Lake Oswego before a brief stint at Portland State during a journeyman post-high school football career -- just as the Portland State-bound Royster transferred from 2011 state champ Lake Oswego to Lakeridge following a series of racist tweets directed at him from at least three of his classmates.

Any coach worth his salt should have been sensitive to Royster's situation, particularly in an age when everyone on any school staff should be aware of the dangers of bullying -- cyber or otherwise -- but then again Cole was a volunteer, which makes the fact he's only been suspended from his post all the more puzzling.

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