MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) — Lies about an abusive high school coach and a mother of one of the victims is setting the record straight.
Memphis City Schools suspended Oakhaven High School basketball coach Rondavius Milam last week for allegations of paddling his players.
Three students accused the coach for physically abusing them. One of those students, Walter Jamison, spoke exclusively with abc24 News and said the coach would not allow some of the players to play because they were getting in trouble in school and needed to improve their behavior.
Jamison said the players were angry and lied about the paddling, all because they couldn't participate in a basketball game.
“I didn't know it was going to get this big. I was just mad at my coach," Walter Jamison told abc24 news.
15-year-old Jamison admits he had no idea how serious his accusations were against Coach Rondavius Milam.
"He doesn't deserve to get suspended," said Jamison. "He never paddled us around. He never paddled me."
But he did say that. Jamison said he and 2 other teammates told the principal the coach cursed and paddled them. Jamison said he was angry at the coach for not letting him play a game.
"I work too hard at practice not to get on the floor and play,” he said.
Coach Milam was suspended from coaching and teaching at Oakhaven High. Parents and students rallied in his defense all week.
Now Jamison regrets the whole thing.
"Yeah, I feel bad," he said. “I want to apologize and shake his hand."
"My son lied and the coach shouldn't suffer for what my son did,” Jacqulyn Jamison told abc24 news. “I'm trying to set the record straight."
Jacqulyn said the high school principal never talked with other parents to find the truth.
"She didn't call me to let me know what was going on," she said.
This "game" could cost the coach's job. Walter is now figuring out the reality of those consequences.
"I shouldn't have done it," said Walter.
"He's a great coach and a great teacher. I think he really needs to be back in school,” said Jacqulyn Jamison.
The Jamisons hope the other two players will also come forward and tell the truth about the coach.
The coach is suspended with pay. MCS would not comment about the allegations.