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Greenbrier soccer players booted for alcohol use on team trip

Posted: March 21, 2013 - 2:24pm  |  Updated: March 23, 2013 - 11:07pm
Columbia County school superintendent Charles Nagle faces the media in the wake of 18 soccer players from Greenbrier High School being suspended for drinking while on a team trip.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Columbia County school superintendent Charles Nagle faces the media in the wake of 18 soccer players from Greenbrier High School being suspended for drinking while on a team trip.

Columbia County investigators are trying to determine who purchased the alcohol for 18 Greenbrier High School boys soccer players who were suspended and kicked off the team for drinking on a team trip.

The suspensions came with the recommendation for long-term suspension.

“Eighteen students out of the 25 on the boys team have either admitted to or have been implicated by others in their testimony and evidence and statements by others that did participate in illegal drinking while on a school-sponsored trip,” said Columbia County School Superintendent Charles Nagle at press conference Thursday afternoon.

But more than underage drinking was involved.

“I was told that two students admitted to, and I don’t know how that came about, but they admitted to smoking Spice, which is a synthetic marijuana,” Nagle said.

The students are on a 10-day suspension pending a school disciplinary hearing, which Nagle said should be held next week.

“We may allow any of those who did admit to go ahead and waive their rights to a hearing and we will place them immediately in the alternative school so they don’t miss any school time,” said Nagle.

Any students who waive their right to a hearing could start at the alternative school as early as Monday, March 25, Nagle said.

The incident took place when the soccer teams traveled to Jekyll Island for a tournament March 14-16. The drinking supposedly took place mainly in hotel rooms during the tournament.

The incident came to the attention of school administrators through posts on a Twitter account, and the school safety officer started looking into Twitter accounts and social media.

“Students started being questioned... they admitted their participation in what had taken place in hotel rooms,” Nagle said.

Because of the illegal activity, additional reporting was needed.

“We did call the sheriff’s department and the sheriff’s department made a type of incident report to acknowledge that this was reported,” said Nagle, who added that the incident took place out of the county’s jurisdiction and there was no physical evidence.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Rick Whitaker said, however, that the agency “will concentrate our efforts on finding out who supplied the contraband to the students.”

Nagle said he was “devastated” and “disappointed” by the “bad decisions made by a group of young men,” said others should pay heed.

“We hope this does send a message to everyone else that you’re not above following the code of conduct and our expectations if you want to represent this school system,” he said.

The suspensions cast a pall over Class AAAAA’s No. 2-ranked Wolfpack (7-0-2), who are scheduled to play host to No. 1-ranked McIntosh (12-0), Saturday, March 23 at 4 p.m.

The Wolfpack can still officially clinch first place in Region 2A-AAAAA with a win in one of its next two region games against Lakeside or Grovetown.

Multiple phone calls to school administrators were not immediately returned.

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Comments (14)



I was prepared to comment on the last article written earlier today who was defending the COACH during said events that took place in Jekyll. I am pleased to see more facts released about the illegal drugs used....and not just alcohol.

It is appalling, as a parent of a SC High School Athlete, that people would actually defend Coach Chip Warren. The drugs/alcohol used have distinctive smells. Should the coach been supervising his team and checking their rooms on a regular basis, this would have been caught during the event.

Clearly the students should be punished by the CCBOE as to their involvement in the illegal activities as a reminder of their mistakes. This would give them something to consider next time they feel compelled to repeat their behavior. HOWEVER, that does not exclude the coach & other chaperones from their lack of CHAPERONING! It is well known among the area that Coach Warren allows players to curse AT him during school activities in very disrespectful manner in the presence of other players. It is also well know fact that Coach Warren has allowed this type of activities in his program and merely turned the other cheek. The fact is, he is also guilty. He should, at the least, lose his job as the GBHS Soccer Coach. If this doesn't happen, what message will that be sending.



you are not an Unbiased Teen

you are not an Unbiased Teen parent- you have an ax to grind with Coach Warren- you have no idea what you are talking about- chaperones/coaches are not expected to stay awake the whole night - kids are perfectly capable of waiting until they've been checked to start their shenanigans- this is NOT THE COACH's fault-- it is the kid's fault who engaged in behavior-- the students of GHS are warned, taught and constantly told they cannot do anything against code of conduct - they sign permission slips and lists of rules before they can go on the trip.They sign code of conduct warnings at beginning of every year explaining that all school rules apply to all school activities. You are passing on what you've "heard"-- I knew this would happen- the grown ups get blamed for what 16-18 yr old kids do with careful planning and with full knowledge it isnt allowed or approved of. THIS is why I wont be a coach and take kids out of town anymore.


Admission by Coercion

The students did not admitted on their own to any drinking or smoking. They were coerced by grown ups by telling them that they (the administrators) knew that they were drinking and that other kids had already mentioned their names. Once they admitted it they were told to make a written statement and to mention the other kids.

That is gooooood policy work, but not too ethical.

Why were the kids questioned without their parents consent?

The coaches knew on Thursday that there was smoking? Why did they did not returned immediately?

The kids are ultimately responsible but is this worth their academic future?


Admin victim

I know the admins definitely tricked students into believing they had been told on before they ever knew a single person had done anything wrong. Been there done that. I also know the parents were not contacted until after questioning and I feel the administration does not care about an individuals constitutional rights to not incriminate themselves. I feel a new policy should be implemented that requires admins to contact parents before questioning.



Coach Warren has done nothing but positive things for Greenbrier high school and the community. For you to say he should be fired is ridiculous. If i recall this team made it to the state finals last year and had it not been for Coach Warren we wouldn't have been there. What I don't get is why you feel the need to comment when you aren't even involved whatsoever. We are all held accountable for our own decisions and we messed up. All i know is that when you were 17 and 18 years old you were probably drinking every weekend and doing more on top of that. Don't judge others if you do or did the same exact thing. Shout-out to my SAB brothers i love you all. #brotherhood


Warren not at fault

As a former player I've never known coach warren as one to "turn the other cheek". He has always abide by the rules set by greenbrier administration. I can say with 100% certainty that had coach warren known of the players actions at the time he would not "turn the other cheek".


"victimizing" the students/players

Schools have the right to question the kids- unless the kids were LYING when they admitted their wrongdoing, it really doesnt matter if people "like" the way the school handled it or questioned them- thats the way it goes... smart investigation- the players shouldnt have done it, the knew not to do it - they've signed numerous papers for the last 10 years in school clearly informing them that anything on a school trip is the same as doing it at school PERIOD- God knows if the school or county DIDNT punish them, we'd be hearing what a terrible job we do, how lax we are, how we dont make them take responsibility.Kids I know were hearing by last Fri morning how much "fun" the players were having on the trip. One of them said it was asked online-- "Who snitched on the soccer team" and he laughed and said THE SOCCER team snitched on themselves - it was all over the place( social media) before the adults ever got wind of it this week - within 24 hours of them arriving at the Jekyll tournament -



It's really sad that ANYONE would defend the coach. Yes, the boys deserve to pay for what they did without a doubt, but the coach should be held accountable too. Who cares how many victories that team has, those victories mean nothing if a team does not have any class. Sports are much more than winning. My heart goes out to the community for those who are shamed by this. For those who defend the coach, shame on you!


I'm curious to know if the

I'm curious to know if the lakeside baseball coach got fired or held accountable to his teams actions when players were caught drinking on the bus. anyone know?



Here's a Senario: Your child gets arrested for what ever reason. now since you are the guardian of that child and ultimately responsible for them, you are also going to be arrested for THEIR mistake. Even though you didnt know your child was doing whatever, we are going to make you suffer the ultimate punishment.
Does that even make sense?

Just like this situation, the Coach was unaware of the illegal activities happening at the time but you're saying he should be the one punished the hardest( by being fired)?



Alcohol is bad for players

Alcohol is bad for players and players should avoid this and I must said that there will be great game between USA and Turkey on 1st June and we will watch them playing by having USA Turkey game tickets.