High school ref resigns amid investigation into criminal history - WSMV Channel 4

High school ref resigns amid investigation into criminal history

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Umpire Kyle Gill was run over by a player during a game last Friday. Umpire Kyle Gill was run over by a player during a game last Friday.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Former high school football referee Kyle Gill resigned Wednesday afternoon amid a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association investigation. He has now been suspended indefinitely.

Thursday, Channel 4 learned new details about a history of criminal convictions that may explain why Gill was released.

Records obtained from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office show Gill has had two convictions for attempted statutory rape and criminal trespassing, as well as prior arrests for theft.

In 2007, Gill was indicted for felony attempted statutory rape and criminal trespassing from an incident that occurred in 2006.

A Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office reports show Gill was originally charged with attempted rape and sexual battery after fondling a woman in her home. According to police reports, Gill told officers he was intoxicated, but never went to the woman’s home.

It is not clear when the charge became a statutory offense. Court records did not indicate the woman’s age.

The felony charge was reduced and Gill was convicted of class A misdemeanor attempted statutory rape. He did not tell TSSAA officials about the conviction on his on application. Currently, the TSSAA asks applicants if they have ever been convicted of a felony.

Gill told Channel 4 by telephone Wednesday, he has been a referee for nearly 11 years and had never been convicted of felony rape or anything like it. He would not return calls made to his cell phone Thursday, but his father called stated the application omission was a misunderstanding. He said Gill did not list the conviction on the registration form because it was not a felony. It had been reduced to a misdemeanor. He said Gill was trying to put the charge behind him and move on.

TSSAA director Matthew Gillespie said Thursday the TSSAA will now consider doing criminal background checks on game officials. The matter is on the November agenda for the TSSAA Board of Control.

But a November discussion is not soon enough for officials in Williamson County Schools. Spokesperson Carol Birdsong released a statement Thursday that WCS is disappointed to learn the TSSAA has not been conducting background checks on game officials and will begin requiring their own.

The statement read in part:

While it is encouraging to learn that the TSSAA has expressed an interest in addressing this issue in the months to come, we do not feel comfortable with the status quo. Therefore, WCS will not wait on the TSSAA to ensure the safety of our students. We will begin requiring fingerprint background checks to ensure referees are meeting the TSSAA’s standards. WCS will bear the cost of these background checks through October 9, 2015. Background checks submitted after October 9, 2015, will not be reimbursable by the district.

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