A turbulent situation has developed after supporters of the Loudon High School basketball coach say he was reportedly in danger of losing his job.
Students, parents and other supporters of Loudon High School basketball coach Josh Graves claim the coach recently became a target of the Loudon County Director of Schools, Dr. Jason Vance.
Nearly 200 people packed into the Loudon County Board of Education meeting in support of Graves Thursday evening. Some sported shirts in support of Graves and the team.
Supporters allege an email from Vance circulated on social media, claiming the school director was upset his son -- who plays on the basketball team -- was told by Graves last minute he wouldn't dress for a varsity game.
Many expressed concern the coach's job was in danger based on the alleged email.
Vance responded, saying Coach Graves wouldn't be fired.
At the board meeting, however, the school director's position came under fire.
A board member motioned to suspend Vance indefinitely. That motion failed by a small margin.
A former Loudon High School educator, Steve Millsaps, says the situation needs to be cleared up.
"I think, even for Dr. Vance, it's important that they be able to come back and tell people. If this isn't happening, they need to be able to say 'This isn't happening and we've done our due diligence in making sure it isn't happening," Millsaps said.
Vance was at the meeting and visibly upset, but did not offer a response of tonight's developments.
On Friday, Vance offered a full response on the Loudon County Schools Facebook page-- saying the rumors were completely inaccurate and unfounded.
"There are several rumors that I have told the coach which kids to play or which kids to dress out for games," Vance wrote. "I have also heard rumors that I have bullied the coach. It has been about 30 days since the last time I spoke to Coach Graves directly and at that meeting, we shook hands and agreed that we would move forward supporting our kids as a team. So, I will say those rumors are completely inaccurate and unfounded."
Vance wrote he would not apologize for 'advocating for requesting clearer communication between our coach and families' or advocating for his family.
"It is unfortunate that protected and private parent communication was released to the public, and in some cases that communication has been falsely altered, on social media, creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for my children," he wrote.
Vance apologized that the situation became an issue -- saying the team had been able to accomplish 'great work' this year.
The Loudon High School basketball team is currently undefeated this season going 17-0, and those supporting coach Graves say he has shown 'commitment and character' and 'believe him 100%.'