‘Unsportsmanlike’ behavior reported in SBA bowling program

Eric Wells
Eric Wells

Eric Wells is no longer the the head coach of St. Benedict at Auburndale’s successful bowling program.

News of the departure came after TSSAA officials announced that the school’s bowling program has been placed on probation for one year and fined $500.

TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress sent a letter to SBA Athletic Director Caleb Marcum on Jan. 10 detailing an act of “unsportsmanlike behavior” during a Jan. 4 bowling match against St. Mary’s.

The letter states that SBA conspired to lose the match by enough pins to maintain the school’s position as the No. 1 seed in the region while also making it difficult for Briarcrest to make it into the state tournament.

Two SBA players were reportedly substituted in the 10th frame of the third game in an effort to “purposefully position” the team to lose to St. Mary’s so that “Briarcrest could not control their own path to state.”

Childress called the actions “unsportsmanlike, unethical, dishonorable.”

The TSSAA requested that the school’s administration “deal with this situation and report their findings and any action (it) planned to take to the state office in writing.”

The letter also stated that Wells be suspended from “participating in all girls’ and boys’ bowling activity for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year,” including practices and matches.

Wells has more bowling titles than any coach in the state.

GRAHAM SWEENEY is the editor of the Shelby Sun Times and the Collierville Independent. Contact him at graham.sweeney@journalinc.com.