Jason Brown, the head football coach at Independence Community College better known from the Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U,” is embroiled in controversy.
Text messages Brown allegedly sent a German player on his team were publicized on Thursday by the Montgomery County Chronicle, including one in which Brown allegedly tells Alexandros Alexiou, a redshirt freshman from Dortmund, Germany, that “I’m your new Hitler.”
The screenshot of the messages obtained by the Montgomery Country Chronicle also show a text where Brown allegedly referred to Alexiou as “u German (expletive)“ and informed the player he was being cut from the team and that his scholarship was being revoked. It has since been reported that Alexiou has learned his scholarship has not been revoked.
The text messages triggered the Independence Board of Trustees to call a special meeting. The Montgomery Country Chronicle reported that board decided to take no action with Brown after meeting behind closed doors for three hours on Thursday evening.
“Independence Community College does not condone the language Coach Brown used in his message,” Independence president Dan Barwick said in a statement. “I have spoken with Coach Brown about his message to the student, and he fully understands that his language was not appropriate. The college is investigating the matter and will have no further statement at this time.”
An attorney for Brown told the Montgomery County Chronicle he had no comment.
Alexiou told the newspaper that he had been suspended last week by Brown for several violations of team policy. Brown had instituted a disciplinary points program that assigns points to players for violating team conduct rules, such as being late for a meeting or practice or instigating a fight. According to Alexiou, players who receive a total of 25 disciplinary points are removed from the team.
Alexiou told the newspaper he filed a discrimination report through the athletic department and met with Independence athletic director Tammie Geldenhuys, who according to Alexiou, told him to calm down and try visiting with the coaching staff again in a few days.
Following that meeting, later on the afternoon of Feb. 12, the screenshot Alexiou gave the newspaper showed Brown texted Alexiou to inform him he had 18 disciplinary points after not following instructions to hang a poster. That’s when Brown allegedly texted, “I’m your new Hitler figure out your life.”
After Alexiou texted back to ask why he had so many disciplinary points, Brown allegedly responded with “cuz I said quit being disobedient” then followed with “You are now cut from the team go yell somewhere else dont come around anymore u obviously have issues and now wont be a part of this program disturbing dorms and classes and teachers and basketball coaches and every other thing good luck alex.”
A third alleged text concluded the conversation: “I’ll take u off the (expletive) scholarship I gave u too since u have forgotten that.”
Alexiou told the Montgomery County Chronicle that he then met with several assistant coaches on the team and recorded their conversations. He played the newspaper all of the recordings, which included an assistant trying to change Alexiou’s mind about reporting Brown.
“It’s family,” the assistant said on the recording, per the Montgomery Country Chronicle. “And we’re all family. And you don’t tell on the family.”
Alexiou said he was at some fault with problems he caused, but he told the Montgomery Country Chronicle that he felt his complaints to the Independence administration were not being taken seriously. That’s why he decided to go public with his story.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Alexiou told the newspaper. “I know I did some stupid things to get suspension, but there are a lot of other incidents on the team that do not get reported.”