An assistant football coach at Marion County (Jasper, Tenn.) went to extraordinary lengths to fire up his team before a game against cross-town rival South Pittsburg. Unfortunately for Michael Schmitt, vandalizing his own school's facilities is illegal.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Schmitt, who is also a teacher at Marion County, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Marion County jail on charges of vandalism of $1,000-$10,000. The arrest comes two weeks after Schmitt allegedly spray painted vulgarities (in South Pittsburg's black and orange colors) on Marion County's fieldhouse. One wall of the field house featured the letters 'SP' next to seven tally marks and the words "and counting," a reference to South Pittsburg's seven-game winning streak against the Warriors.
After the incident, South Pittsburg players volunteered to help Marion County officials clean up the graffiti.
“It’s extremely disturbing and disappointing to me and our school because that is not something we condone at all,” South Pittsburg principal Danny Wilson told the Times Free Press at the time. “Our senior captains came to me and asked if they could go up there and help clean it up because they’re as embarrassed as I am and they don’t want people thinking we allow thugs like that in our school.
“It is sad to say that this event gives the whole community a black eye and the real victims of this incident are the kids from both schools,” Marion County Sheriff's Detective Matt Blansett told the Times Free Press following Schmitt's arrest.
As for the game, South Pittsburg extended its winning streak in the series to eight with a 35-17 win.
Thanks to Deadspin for bringing this story to our attention.