Incident at practice led to Whittington's firing

Updated: December 9, 2003, 9:35 AM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Prairie View A&M's dismissal of coach C.L. Whittington came after an internal investigation concluded he had hit two players during summer workouts, according to a broadcast report Monday night.

Houston television station KRIV cited a letter it obtained under the Texas Public Information Act in which athletic director Charles McClelland told NCAA officials about the school's findings.

Whittington did not immediately return calls late Monday from The Associated Press. He declined comment to KRIV pending legal action. "I plan to clear my name," he said.

In the letter to David Price, NCAA vice president for enforcement, McClelland said the investigation found that two players began fighting during one-on-one drills and that Whittington yelled at them to stop.

"The players responded and as one player turned around to the coach, the coach hit him with a forearm,'' McClelland wrote. "The coach then hit the other player with a forearm hard enough to send him to the ground. Then the coach hit the first player again."

McClelland said the decision to fire the first-year coach was based on the findings.

The names of the players weren't released.

McClelland declined comment, telling the station the report spoke for itself.

Whittington, a former Houston Oilers defensive back, was 1-10.

He was fired last month.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press