BERRY, Ala. (WIAT) — Berry High School’s football coach, Danny Raines, was suspended for the last two regular season games in October after video surfaced of players burning school property.
The video, which was posted on the social media site, Snapchat, was brought to the attention of the town’s mayor, Jimmy Madison, who had a special interest in the item that was burned.
Someone–Madison declined to say who–showed him the video of a football that had been set on fire. The ball had been taken from a trophy case at the school, and symbolized the Wildcats’ 30-year field goal record. That record was broken at a game on the Friday before the video was posted.
“This is not about the football,” said Madison. “Not at all. Records are suppose to be broken. Congratulations to the young man. But it’s about the example that this teacher and coach is setting for our students.”
Madison said that he isn’t tackling this issue as the mayor of Berry. The football that was burned belonged to his son, Jeff Madison, who was the previous record-holder.
Madison called the principal and superintendent to bring the issue to their attention. He said that Coach Raines also called his son to apologize.
“He says he knew nothing,” Madison remembered. He didn’t know what they were going to do with it [the ball].”
However, shortly after Jeff Madison got that phone call, the mayor said that someone showed him a screenshot of a text conversation between Coach Raines and several players. Madison claimed that the text conversation shows the picture of the football on fire and the players thanking the coach. In the screenshot, someone who is identified as Coach Raines is shown responding, “Lol you’re welcome.”
“He stole the ball from a trophy case–which is not his–took it outside, and burned it,” Madison told CBS 42, “and now will not take responsibility for his actions.”
Madison said that he and the coach do not have a good relationship, and that he felt as though the Raines’ actions were a sort of personal attack. However, he is more worried about the example that the coach is setting for his students and players.
“We’re not going to be satisfied until he’s terminated,” he said.
CBS 42 attempted to reach out to Coach Raines, but did not hear back from him by deadline.
Raines is back on the field, coaching Friday night at a playoff game in Cherokee County. He was quoted by The Tuscaloosa News about the situation saying, “I shouldn’t have and I regret it, but I did give the kid the ball. I didn’t know what they were going to do with the ball, but I did give the kid the ball and then the ball was destroyed, and of course, I felt awful about it. I can’t go recreate the ball.”
CBS 42 will update this story when we get a response back from Coach Raines.