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Father at center of ACHS Coach Allen ouster speaks out

  • News[0]=68.ARBNDweBJhJ4brPu7l4EfnTBvry2kXFaxDRKKHUoyxXdGxbL9n2v4P3XzVy-xiABDfgxdTJ2qAIbD9ULCjLO459sh1Y9uV0P8biq4I2kIebjwchvn8D8BVRaPvn0aWTNwVutPJYVH_sGuZYkAW43bNn4u7-IM2H_vMi8YUwDX43d3QPY0Ofqvm42UYyAOP9wipul4nxMbREH7QKDjG6vjvbZFQKxCyHVDztLwjhZEP-NWdXesEk5lAy82-rPauN70ER-SbQmx50tQnvMZWDiOwWDTCMWVW7rl2Rs5dipe7V_JzAyPcV9bg-MJbqfxc_662y2Ow5euslpCH5LRO_p8VkGfL-TgxkMCwg&__tn__=-R A complaint over insulting text messages and disrespectful treatment to players sparked an investigation that led to the ouster Atlantic City High School’s much-heralded basketball coach. Coach Gene Allen got just one vote for renewal at last week’s Board of Education meeting. The decision led to community uproar and lots of questions. On Saturday, the father at the center of the controversy sat down with the guys at Barbershop Conversations to present the story he says has not been fully told. The complaint wasn’t about Allen’s decision not to have a team banquet or even necessarily over one text message, said Ray Bethea Sr., whose son attends Howard University on a full basketball scholarship. Instead, Bethea said the tone of the text messages illustrated Allen’s long-standing negative treatment of his players. A board member told BreakingAC that Allen was found to violate a rule that he couldn't text individual students.
But Bethea Sr. said this text was a group one to the team. “Zeem you must get out of wanting shit we really didn’t earn,” Allen wrote in the group text that included Bethea’s son. “That’s what’s wrong with AC KIDS they want shit without earning. What did we actually win to earn a banquet.” The text was part of a poster Bethea Sr. brought to every meeting since June. “I just put the most profane thing that he said, and I’m going to show it to the people,” Bethea said as he sat in the Starting Five Barbershop & Salon in Pleasantville. He spoke with CJ Torian and Keith Gerald, along with his younger brother Imam Amin Muhammad. Gerald asked if the text could have been an attempt to try to push the kids. Bethea said he has likely watched more Atlantic City High School basketball in the almost 16 years Allen was there, and has watched the former coach “mentally strip kids down” and seen “their mom crying because Gene ripped their son in half.” He insisted his actions were not personal. SEE FULL THE FULL INTERVIEW ABOVE

Gene Allen ousted as ACHS basketball coach

Gene Allen ousted as ACHS basketball coach - BreakingAC

The ouster of Atlantic City High School's successful basketball coach has ignited the community and left questions for the program. The renewal for Coach Gene Allen, who has led the team to three state titles in his 15 years, got backing from only one board member Tuesday night. A special Board of Education meeting was ... Read more

Since the season had basically started, the board made Elijah Langford interim head coach, a position he has said he did not ask for. Langford said he had not seen the interview with Bethea, but had only praise for his former basketball mentor. “The experience was a pleasure, I learned a lot,” he told BreakingAC. “Grew as a man, mentor, and coach. He allowed me to take on a big role as the lead assistant and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. No one in a million years would’ve taken a chance on me as a coach due to the lack of collegiate basketball experience. But he did and I hope I made him proud.” Langford added that he doesn’t think their tenure as a coaching staff is over. A special meeting previously scheduled for next week to discuss the vacancy has been canceled, but the board left it open that another could be planned at some point.

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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