SPOKANE, Wash. – The Ferris High School head football coach’s lawyer is responding to allegations that his client exposed himself to players and allowed hazing in his program.
Ferris Head Football Coach Jim Sharkey is being investigated over several claims that were detailed in a public records request by KREM 2. Sharkey has been on paid administrative leave since February 1 over the allegations.
Records include written notes from Spokane Public Schools administrator Mary Templeton from her meetings with Sharkey, emails from concerned parents and students about Sharkey’s alleged behavior, an anonymous letter to Ferris administrators from a concerned parent of a football player and formal letters to Sharkey himself from Spokane Public Schools.
Sharkey’s lawyer Bevan Maxey said there is a lot of information from the investigation that should prove the allegations against his clients are false. Maxey said it is important for people to understand that this investigation is far from complete.
"All I can say is that we’re confident that when this is completed Coach Sharkey will be vindicated for the allegations that have been leveled against him," Maxey said.
School records claim Sharkey exposed himself to several players during a high school football camp as a joke. Maxey said this is just one side of the story and that more people need to be interviewed like Bobby Brett. He's been hosting Ferris's football camps for the last several years at his ranch in Cataldo, Idaho.
“I’m surprised no one from the district has contacted me about the investigation,” Brett said in a statement.
Maxey also wanted to point out that there are no previous records of disciplinary action against the coach.
KREM 2 reached out to some of his former players to see what they had to say about these allegations.
"I don't think that's something he would do. That's all I can say," said former Ferris football player Jordan Tonani. "Not only did he hold us to a higher standard on the football field, everything that he did with us off the football field, everything that he taught us as people was very positive."
Tonani said he was surprised when he read the allegations, especially when it came to the graphic hazing that was mentioned among players.
"That stuff that they talked about in that article, I can guarantee that when I played football for all the years that I played, that's never happened," said Tonani.
Records show that the district has not proven many of these allegations but rather Sharkey failed to supervise the safety of the students at the camp because 'hosts' were under the influence of alcohol. He was given a written warning.
It wasn't until January that more students came forward with additional complaints that involved name calling and inappropriate language toward students.