Ohio high schooler suspended for criticizing football team, coach

BY foxsports • October 23, 2013

A Rittman High School junior has been suspended from school and the football team after he wrote a poem about the team's disappointing season, specifically his head coach and the coach's son.

Nick Andre told Cleveland TV station WJW FOX 8 that he was suspended four days from school and from the football team's final two games after reading a poem entitled "Stupid" aloud in a composition class. Andre, 16, told FOX 8 that the assignment was to write about something that made him angry.

He chose the Rittman football team, which is 1-7 on the season. In his poem he referenced "the inability to separate being a father and a coach" and closed it with, "Akron's screwed."

Rittman's football coach is Bill Dennis; his son, Blake, is a senior who's verbally committed to play college football at Akron, and his 25-year old son, Tyler, is Rittman's offensive coordinator.

Andre and his mother told FOX 8 that they met Monday with Rittman principal Nick Evans, who presented them with suspension papers for "hazing and harrassment." Andre said he "felt like it was my right to express what I just felt."

"I have not and will not comment on individual student discipline," Evans wrote in an email to FOX Sports Ohio.

Rittman is in Wayne County, about 25 miles southwest of Akron.

Bill Dennis in his third season as Rittman's coach, his third high school head coaching stop. He serves as the dean of students and athletic director at Rittman.

Bill Dennis and Rittman superintendent James Ritchie declined comment to FOX 8.

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