Mills: Manatee football program may have been put ahead of student safety

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MANATEE COUNTY--Manatee County Superintendent Rick Mills believes four former Manatee High School administrators may have put the school's reputable football program ahead of student safety.

"I think it's fairly evident," said Mills, who appeared as a guest on ABC 7's Black Almanac. "There were factors that I believe were influenced by the program there."

Rod Frazier, one of the high school's assistant football coaches is facing seven counts of misdemeanor battery on some female students. Four administrators are alleged to have known about the incidents, but never acted on them.

We also asked Mills whether or not there has ever been evidence suggesting Head Coach Joe Kinnan knew about the incidents.

"At no time in the investigation was there any indication that that was something overlooked or a factor," said Mills.

Kinnan was interviewed by the district's investigator, Troy Pumphrey, yet that interview, along with several others never showed up in Pumphrey's final investigative report.

"Troy is a highly capable investigator. He is very thorough and competent. I am confident he addressed and interviewed the people who he felt was necessary," said Mills.

Tune in to Black Almanac this Sunday at 7:30am on ABC 7 for more with Rick Mills.