Basketball Coach Marlon Dorsey  of Murra High School in Jackson, Mississippi has been temporarily suspended from his job for beating students with a 5 pound weight belt when they failed to run basketball plays to his satisfaction.  Nearly all the students have been beaten at one time or another.  One student received belt beatings almost daily.

The students did not rat out the coach for fear of being benched or removed from the team.  The team discipline was discovered by a parent (seen in the video) who stopped by the gym to watch practice.  The father was outraged.

Coach Dorsey has submitted a written explanation, but not an apology.  According to the Washington Post:

“I took it upon myself to save these young men from the destruction of self and what society has accepted and become silent to the issues our students are facing on a daily basis. I am deeply remorseful of my actions to help our students.”


Would apologizing really even help? Three of the sets of parents have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of their sons. Other parents have defended the coach and are working to help retain his job:

“He has made them go to study hall, makes them turn in their homework and makes them give weekly reports of their school work,” Gary Love, whose son plays for Dorsey, told the paper. “It’s been all positive with one bad incident. He made a huge mistake, but he is human.

“It was poor judgment, but he is an outstanding person, determined and driven to make those kids better. I think we all need to step back and give him his job back”

Poor judgement?  Were Coach Dorsey coaching in this area, he would be a goner and would probably have had criminal charges filed against him by now. Should he lose his job, even if he were trying to ‘help’ the boys?






15 Thoughts to “Mississippi Coach Beats Students for Blowing Basketball Plays”

  1. I really need to finish drinking my coffee before reading blogs. At first glance, I read the last word of the title of this post as “PlayERS.”

  2. It did get you to read it though……[whistling…..crickets…..]

  3. marinm

    ..chuckle.. y’all have some dirty minds!

  4. marinm

    Is corporal punishment allowed in MS? I don’t have an issue with it as long as it’s done in compliance with the law.

  5. I do if the students were enrolled without the knowledge that such punishment was allowed or would happen. However, punishing them for “blowing plays” is wrong. The students did nothing wrong or against the rules. Corporal punishment as “incentive” is wrong.

    “The beatings will continue until morale improves” is a joke, not instructions.

  6. Supposedly that school district banned corporal punishment over 20 years ago. The coach should be doing what his district says.

  7. marinm

    MH, then I agree with you. He needs to comply with the law. Sad too because with him gone I bet these kids will just turn into future government check cashers.

    1. I believe these were middle class kids. The fact that someone’s dad went by to watch him practice speaks to this issue.

      And regardless, plenty of coaches provide guidance for kids, often needy kids, who don’t feel the need to beat them with a weight belt when they blow their basketball playS.

  8. Should Dorsey be beaten if he’s a lousy coach?

  9. George S. Harris

    Why is this guy not in jail? Oh, I forgot–it’s Mississippi! Duh!

    1. I sort of wondered the same thing myself, George. Assualt and battery on a daily basis?

  10. Kelly3406

    I think this is beyond the pale. The issue of corporal punishment is worthy of debate. But even if it were allowed, punishment should be administered only for disciplinary issues. Failure to cut to the basket properly or to make the right pass is not usually a matter of discipline.

    This guy’s judgement appears to be severely impaired. I do not think that he should ever be allowed with players/students without supervision from another adult.

    1. Totally agree, Kelly. I don’t know why he hasn’t been terminated. If this isnt a bully, I don’t know what is.

  11. Wolverine

    Strange. The usual punishment for blowing plays is to get your behind stuck on the bench, not get that behind pounded with a wrestling belt. Sports are getting out of hand too often in this country. That coach has to go.

  12. Wolverine

    Here’s real justice for you. An ensign on one our sister LST’s in Vietnam was apparently not doing his job well enough to please the skipper of that ship. The skipper really had it in for this young officer. Once, when both ships had pulled into Subic Bay side by side for resupply and repairs, I noticed that this unfortunate ensign had been assigned to the watch on the quarterdeck at liberty call. Instead of dressing in work khakis as most officers of the watch did in that port, this guy was standing out there in his dress whites and carrying the traditional long naval spyglass. First time I had ever seen that except at change of command ceremonies. Some time later, as I heard it, the skipper got so mad at this ensign that he actually hit him. Hooo, boy. That skipper lost his command ASAP and most likely his career.

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