The Christiansburg (Va.) High girls' basketball team can watch "Moonshiners" on the Discovery Channel every week, yet the Blue Demons' head and assistant coaches are now jobless for purchasing a souvenir bottle of Tim Smith's legal moonshine during a road trip.
Christiansburg head coach Dallas St. Clair was forced to resign and assistant Pete Hudson received a letter stating he was "no longer employed" over what the team's senior captain described as no big deal and "blown way out of proportion," The Roanoke Times reported.
According to St. Clair's recounting in the paper, he and Hudson each drove vans full of players to their three-game holiday basketball tournament in South Carolina as the two coach's wives followed in their own car. During a rest stop, as players either shopped in a discount clothing store or remained in the vans, Hudson and his wife Missy purchased Tim Smith's Climax legal moonshine as a novelty and placed it in her trunk.
“We went straight from (the) store to her trunk, which the girls were not riding in," Pete Hudson told the paper, pledging neither he nor St. Clair drank alcohol on the trip. While we were in there, Dallas was supervising the girls in the two vans. At no time were they ever in harm’s way. They did not see the moonshine. They did not come in contact with it.”
Christiansburg senior captain Tara McCoy corroborated both coaches' side of the story.
“When they came out, they put it in his wife’s car with Dallas’ wife,” she told the paper. “They drove separate behind us the whole time because they knew, of course, they can’t have alcohol in the car with athletes.
“They did no harm. They didn’t drink. We didn’t drink, and alcohol was not in our cars.”
However, Montgomery County Schools suspended both coaches on Jan. 3 pending an investigation into a parental complaint, the report said. Within a week, both coaches were out of a job -- St. Clair allegedly forced to resign and Hudson fired. The Blue Demons finished 9-14 in 2012, St. Clair's first season as head coach, and started 1-11 this winter.
The school system's spokeswoman would not provide The Roanoke Times with a comment on the matter. According to the Montgomery County Public Schools Coaches Handbook, while in the presence of players, coaches are expected to “set a good example of conduct by refraining from using tobacco products, alcohol, or inappropriate language.”
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