WARREN, Mich. – The Cousino High School varsity cheer team is without a coach heading into meets after a dispute over an off-site practice this week.
Tina Brown resigned as the team's coach after she was told she was being placed on administrative leave for a practice she held Tuesday. The leave would have banned her from a league championship Wednesday and limited her contact with the team.
School was canceled due to weather Tuesday, thus canceling sports practices. Brown said the team members were texting her about hosting a pratice despite the school closure.
"The texts started coming in from athletes," she said. "'What are we doing? We have a league meet. Can we practice? Can we do open gym?'"
Brown said she called and found a gym where she could hold a practice that she said was voluntary and informal.
The Cousino principal contacted Brown the next day and said they needed to meet right away. When Brown said she couldn't because of work, she was informed that she was being placed on the administrative leave.
Brown said there's never been a policy that says the cheerleaders can't get together off-site.
The chief operating officer of Warren Consolidated Schools, Sharon Irvine, said she can't comment about a policy on off-site practices. She also said she was surprised Brown resigned.
Another coach from the high school allegedly held a practice Tuesday night. Irvine said the district was investigating, but she couldn't comment on the matter.
Many parents said they are upset that Brown is no longer the coach. They said she was a fantastic and wonderful coach. Some parents believe the punishment was the school's way of pushing her out.
"Unbeknownst to others, this was going to be my retirement year," Brown said.