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Police look at incident with football coach

Maumelle football coach Mike Buchan File PhotoBuy Photo
Maumelle football coach Mike Buchan File Photo

Note: This story has been updated since it was first published online.

Maumelle police said that an Aug. 26 incident at Maumelle High School involving the football coach and a student has been referred to the prosecuting attorney for “any further action.”

A spokeswoman for Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley said Tuesday afternoon that no charges had been filed against Coach Mike Buchan at this time.

Police spokesman Lt. Jim Hansard said that on Aug. 27, patrolman Chris Stroud, who was working at the high school, was approached by Jacquelyn Porchay, the mother of a student at the school, who said Buchan, who is the head coach of the football team, had assaulted her son the previous day.

Porchay told police that Buchan had “pinched her son’s nipple” and also dismissed him from the football team.

The student’s name was redacted from the police report.

In the narrative of the report, Stroud said Buchan had told his players they had to stay in the field house area until the bell rang.

The student told Buchan he needed to leave and talk to his sister.

“[Juvenile] stated that Coach Buchan then got in his face and told him he could not talk like that to him,” the report said. “[Juvenile] then stated Coach Buchan then pinched him on his nipple… then knocked Coach Buchan’s hand off of him.”

The player was then dismissed from the team.

“I checked [the student] for injuries,” Stroud wrote in his report, “I did not see any.”

Buchan’s account of the incident was quite different.

“Buchan then stated that [the student] could do as told or turn his stuff in and you can do whatever you want,” Stroud wrote, and the discussion continued in field house office.The coach said he and the student started talking there, and the student, “got in his face.” Buchan told Stroud, “He reached up and grabbed [the student] in the chest area.”

Stroud said he spoke to members of the football team who had been in the field house at the time.

“All of the players stated [the student] was out of control and not listening to Coach Buchan,” Stroud wrote. “They also said that Coach Buchan grabbed him in the chest area. The players stated that [it] was common for [Buchan] to grab you like that when you act up.”

The players all declined to give Stroud a written statement of the incident.

Maumelle will face Fountain Lake on Friday night, and Pulaski County Special School District spokeswoman Deb Roush said Buchan would be coaching in the game and that the district had undertaken an internal investigation.

She declined to give the outcome of that investigation.

“Because this is a personnel issue,” Roush wrote in an e-mail, “the District cannot legally release any information related to the alleged incident involving Coach Buchan.”

Roush added in a follow-up e-mail that Buchan also had teaching duties at the school.

This is Buchan’s sixth season as head coach at Maumelle, and he served in that same capacity at the old Oak Grove High School. Buchan, 53, has been employed with the school district since 1984.

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