Jason Brown, the fiery head coach from Independence Community College most known from the third season of Netflix’s “Last Chance U,” has found himself in the middle of a controversy.
According to the Montgomery County Chronicle, Brown made reference to Adolf Hitler in a series of derogatory text messages informing a football player that he was cut from the team. The player, Germany native Alexandros Alexiou, posted the exchange on social media. In it, Brown texts, “I’m your new Hitler,” and also refers to Alexiou as “u German f—.”
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) February 21, 2019
The texts reference Alexiou accumulating “17 points.” Alexiou told the Chronicle that it references the football program’s disciplinary system. A player gets kicked off the team if he accrues 25 points, he said.
Alexiou said he spoke with several assistant coaches, as well the school’s compliance officer. One assistant, according to a recording of a conversation Alexiou provided to the Chronicle, tried to justify Brown’s comments by saying the coach was trying to “encourage” the player. In the aftermath, Alexiou filed a report of discrimination. From the Montgomery County Chronicle:
Asked by the Montgomery County Chronicle on Tuesday how he felt during the events of the past week, Alexiou said he never felt that anyone within the ICC administration or athletic department was sticking up for him, especially as it applies to discrimination based on nationality. That’s why he chose to post a screenshot of the text messages from Feb. 12 on social media.
“I don’t think it’s right,” he said. “I know I did some stupid things to get a suspension, but there are a lot of other incidents on the team that do not get reported.”
Board of Trustees calls for meeting to discuss Brown
Dan Barwick, the president of Independence Community College, told the Chronicle in a statement that he has spoken to Brown about the exchange and that the school “does not condone the language” used by Brown.
“I have spoken with Coach Brown about his message to the student, and he fully understands that his language was not appropriate. The college is investigating the matter and will have no further statement at this time,” Barwick told the paper on Tuesday.
In the text message exchange, Brown threatened to take away Alexiou’s scholarship. Alexiou told the Chronicle earlier this week that he did not lose his scholarship but he was unsure of his status on the football team.
According to KGGF NewsRadio, the ICC Board of Trustees called for a special executive session to discuss a “personnel issue.” The meeting took place Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and no action was taken.
Brown’s brash personality was a focus of ‘Last Chance U’
Brown was named ICC’s head coach in 2016, tasked with turning around a program that consistently finished near the bottom of its conference.
Brown, a brash, outspoken native of Compton, California, quickly shook things up. The Pirates went 5-4 in his first season and 9-2 in his second season. His third season became the focus of the third season of “Last Chance U”, a Netflix series that documents junior college football programs that become landing spots for high-level prospects who fizzle out at FBS schools.
On the show, Brown routinely had conflicts — filled with plenty of colorful language — with many of his players, including former Florida State quarterback Malik Henry.
“Last Chance U”‘s fourth season was also shot at ICC and is scheduled to be released in the summer. Whether cameras were present for the saga with Alexiou remains to be seen. Based on Brown’s social media feed, the show’s crew may have left town by then.
The LCU crew was at the house for possibly the last time and as usual it was a great night, Greg and the crew has been a pleasure to work with and be around for the last 2 years, life goes on, but memories last forever! Much love from #DREAMU to #LCU @gregonepotato pic.twitter.com/Fs4Sj0T4s3
— Coach Brown (@INDYHEADCOACH1) February 9, 2019
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