INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - Independence Community College Head Coach Jason Brown resigns following a controversial text message conversation with a German student.
The messages came after Brown told the student he had received disciplinary points, later telling that same student that he, Coach Brown, was the student's "new Hitler."
Following Brown's resignation, he received an outpouring of support on social media from former players and fans of "Last Chance U," a Netflix documentary series featuring Brown and the ICC Pirates.
Others, though, are glad to see this coach off the field.
Tom Hardy comes to Emott Field everyday, remembering his own time as a football player under the direction of Coach Kayo in 68' and 69.'
"He was an amazing coach and you feared him, but you respected him. That's a little bit of something that I think Mr. Brown, you know, you feared him and you feared him," said Hardy.
Hardy says Brown took it too far on the field, often using strong expletives in front of fans.
"I've been embarrassed sitting in the stands and hearing his rapport with the players in full view of the little kids and parents that don't use that language."
Brown was known for his abrasive coaching style, playing a role on the Netflix documentary series "Last Chance U." Hardy says Brown crossed the line, though, when he texted a German player saying: "I'm your new Hitler."
"It didn't surprise me. It wasn't right by any means. I don't know Brown's philosophy, and I don't agree with the way he handled everything."
Some people are showing their support for the coach, though, responding to Brown's resignation letter on Twitter. ICC sophomore Cierra Farris says Brown always seemed tough, but fair.
"I'm not an athlete, so I don't know everything that they have to do, but I feel like he was the one to push kids to go to class."
Farris feels uncertain about the whole situation.
"I feel like there's more to the story so I can't really say 'Yes, it was right,' or 'No.'"
College officials say that this is a difficult time for all students and faculty who knew Brown as their coach.
"What we'd like is for the media to honor the statement that's already been made by the college and if there's more information to be put out, we'll do it at that time," said ICC Athletic Director Tammie Romstead.
Hardy says he's happy to see the college moving on and looks forward to the future of ICC football.
"Independence has good football history and we'll have it again."
The previous statement Romstead referenced said in part: "As a college, we should be defined by the outstanding educational quality and value we create for our students, and we believe we can move past this together with our community, faculty, staff and student body..."
To all my fans, supporters, both past and present players, and coaches, please read the following letter that I have posted and please respect my decision. Much love to you all, W.I.N. FOREVER! Once a Pirate always a Pirate! #DREAMU pic.twitter.com/M88TcQKvDQ— Coach Brown (@INDYHEADCOACH1) February 25, 2019
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