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Benton Harbor football coach under investigation for insensitive texts

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -

Benton Harbor High School's football coach is under investigation for a string of questionable text messages.

Benton Harbor Area Schools officials have confirmed Coach Elliot Uzelac, better known as "Coach U" is being investigated for comments he admittedly made about student players. 

The conversation includes jokes being made by Coach Uzelac about pictures of Benton Harbor High School students heading to prom. One text message sent by Coach Uzelac reads "Who is that and how much drugs did he sell to rent that?".

"This right here is something that I could not ignore as a parent, and I feel that if I did not stand up for my child, then he would think that something like that is OK and it's not," said Yaquina Walker, a parent who shared the screenshots of these text messages to social media.

According to a press release from BHAS, Coach Uzelac spoke with Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker and admitted to texting the statements in question to some of the coaches on his staff.

According to the release, Coach Uzelac stated to Dr. Walker "I do regret and apologize for texting comments that were clearly inappropriate. Under no circumstances were these statements meant to be taken seriously. It has never been my intention to offend the Benton Harbor students or community."

The release goes on to say Dr. Walker and the Board of Education are considering next steps and that Coach Uzelac has brought Tiger Pride back to the Benton Harbor football team under an agreement with the Board of Education in which he volunteers his time to coach their football team.

"This misstep is an unfortunate blemish on Coach Uzelac's record of commitment and positive relationships with our Benton Harbor students," Dr. Walker said in the release.

In an effort to be transparent with you, some of the footage in the attached video came from a special documentary called "Restore the Roar" which, in part, featured Coach Uzelac. ABC 57 News is committed to following these allegations against Coach Uzelac and we'll pass along updates as we learn them.

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