BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – A ninth grade Bentonville football coach was fired on Oct. 15 after students accused him of using foul language toward them, according to a memo released by the Bentonville School District.
Gregory Hendrix’s contract was terminated through action by the Bentonville School Board on Oct. 15, according to a spokesman for the school.
The memo details accusations from two students (who will be referred to as Student A and Student B) that say Hendrix used inappropriate language toward them. The unnamed students both played football during their ninth grade year of the 2013-2014 school year, quit the team afterwards and joined the cheer team, according to the memo.
In addition to coaching, Hendrix also taught four different world history classes, the memo states.
On Aug. 23, Student B tried to get into the football team’s locker room, and the coach stopped him, explaining that he couldn’t go in because he quit the team. In response, the student called Hendrix a [expletive] and received in-school suspension as punishment, according to the memo.
Around Aug. 29, accusations surfaced concerning foul language Hendrix made during the Tiger Pride sporting event on Aug. 22, the memo states.
Student A said that on Aug. 22 he was with a group of girls on the sidelines, and Hendrix walked toward him. He extended his hand and said, “What’s up, Coach Hendrix?” Student A then said the coach pulled back his hand and said, “Sorry. I don’t talk to [expletive],” the memo states.
Another student said that on Tiger Pride night, the coach told him “Student B is a [expletive] queer for quitting the football team and joining cheer,” the memo states.
Multiple students reported that Hendrix referred to Student B as an “[expletive] queer,” according to the memo.
While being interviewed, Hendrix denied ever using foul language in reference to Student A or Student B, the memo states. He said when Student A was playing football, he was “always in trouble” according to the memo.
Hendrix concluded by saying he found it suspicious that accusations against him came to light around or after he assigned Student B to in-school suspension. He said he was suspicious that Student A and Student B were “conspiring to fabricate the accusations against him,” the memo said.
The cheer coach, principal, both assistant principals, the athletic director and the dean of students were all questioned about the accusations, but none of them said they had first-hand knowledge relating to the incidents in question, according to the memo.
Hendrix could not be immediately reached for comment, and a spokesman for the Bentonville School District said, “We have no further comment regarding the action of the board or the dismissal of Mr. Hendrix.”