Tape Shows Coach Watching Team Beat Player

A surveillance video shows a Mobile high school basketball coach watching his players beat a teammate, who is knocked to the floor and is struck again apparently for cursing and threatening to quit.

That tape, released Monday by county school system officials, was instrumental in the suspension of B.C. Rain High School (search) boys' varsity basketball coach Marion Dunn (search) and about 10 players last month, Superintendent Harold Dodge said.

Hodge has recommended that Dunn be fired. The coach, accused of allowing players to hit teammates who broke rules, will have a hearing before the county school board Dec. 14.

Assistant Superintendent Rhoda Waltman said the students were suspended for several days and have since returned.

Dodge said Monday he believes the students initiated the form of punishment for breaking rules, but that Dunn let it happen.

"I think it's a horribly unfortunate incident," Dodge said. "We don't want to get into the spot where adults watch kids hit other kids."

On the tape, the players appear to beat the same teammate — who was not named by school officials because he is a minor — twice during a Nov. 6 practice in the school's gym. The first time, Dunn speaks to his players who gather in a circle around the victim. It is not clear what he says because the tape obtained by the Mobile Register does not have sound.

Dunn walks off the gym floor and the players strike the victim for one minute, knocking him to the floor at least once. The team gathers around the same victim later and hits him for 30 more seconds. Dunn and an assistant coach are seen watching that beating.

Dodge said it is not clear why the team beat the player the first time, but that the second time was apparently because the victim cursed and said he was quitting the team.