Curie HS basketball coach removed after alleged physical altercation with student

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CHICAGO — The head basketball coach at Marie Curie Metropolitan High School was removed from his position this week after an allegation he got into a physical altercation with a student on campus.

Assistant coach Larry Wallace stepped in during Thursday’s game after head coach Mike Oliver was removed.

Parents at the school said after talking to their kids, they heard the incident stemmed from a male student smoking pot in a school bathroom. Parent Percy Hammons said he heard the student was doing drugs, Oliver caught him and confronted him.

Oliver was a security guard at Curie for 27 years, and was the longtime coach of the Condors who are now ranked No. 1in the boy's 4A state conference.

Oliver told the Chicago Sun-Times these are false accusations — and in the nearly three decades of working with students, he's never been accused of any wrong doing.

Parents said they were blindsided by the incident.

“No one even came to talk to our boys about the situation, trying to understand how they feel,” parent Tainika Somerville said. “They're hurt. Mike Oliver is like their dad.”

Chicago Public Schools said the alleged incident is under investigation by the district's Office of Student Protections. The district is also offering support to the student involved in the altercation.

After a winning game Thursday, those who support the ousted coach are hoping this doesn't negatively affect the program.

“They just won 86-55. They're devastated but they're mad and they're about to take it out on all of the city,” Hammons said.

Parents said they're planning a rally in support of Oliver Friday night.


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