Akron high school football coach placed on leave during drowning investigation

Toshaye Pope (Source: Akron Public Schools)
Toshaye Pope (Source: Akron Public Schools)(Akron Public Schools)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 12:26 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The head football coach at Ellet High School has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues into the drowning of a 14-year-old player at a team outing.

Toshaye Pope was pulled from Melanie Lake in Uniontown on July 21 and died from his injuries at Akron Children’s Hospital on July 23, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner.

School officials said an interim coach will be named while Coach Steve Fasig is on leave.

Attorney Allen Tittle of Tittle & Perlmuter released the following statement on behalf of the Pope family:

“It is ironic that it was not until several news stories came out about Toshaye’s tragic death, that Akron Public Schools took some action, in the form of placing Coach Fasig on paid administrative leave, in furthering its investigation. While the old saying, “better late than never,” holds true here, Toshaye’s family hopes Akron Public Schools truly conducts a comprehensive investigation into the events, choices, and system failures that lead to Toshaye’s death. We all want answers-placing Coach Fasig on leave is the first step in doing so.”

Tittle said Pope’s parents were never informed the team was going swimming at Melanie Lake until they received a phone call from law enforcement as he was being rushed to the hospital.

Pope was an incoming freshman at Akron Early College High School, but was allowed to play for Ellet High School, because his school does not have a football team.

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