Canton school board to discuss discipline for coaches involved in pizza incident

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CANTON, Ohio (WJW)– The Canton City School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting Thursday evening to consider further discipline for a group of football coaches.

The district initially suspended eight McKinley High School football coaches, including head coach Marcus Wattley, during its investigation into the May 24 incident.


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The family of a 17-year-old football player said the boy was forced to eat a pizza, then run extra drills as a form of punishment for missing practice for an injury.

The teen, who is of the Hebrew Israeli faith, objected to eating the pepperoni pizza and was eventually allowed to pick off the meat. The family’s attorney said the coach threatened to kick the boy off the team and told him his teammates would have to do extra drills if he didn’t eat the pizza.


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On Wednesday, Canton City School Superintendent Jeff Talbert issued a statement, calling the coaches’ actions, “inappropriate, demeaning and divisive.”

The boy, who was not named in a news release from the family’s attorney, is a star tackle on the football team and holds a 4.0 GPA.

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