Originally created 01/09/98

Greenbrier's Morgan cleared



For 17 days, Greenbrier senior basketball player Mack Morgan waited to clear his name.

Thursday, Morgan gave his version of the events that occurred Dec. 23 which led to his being kicked off the basketball team and suspended from school for allegedly drinking alcoholic beverages. Morgan was one of five members of the team suspended for possessing controlled substances at a Days Inn in Elbert County during a holiday tournament.

A disciplinary tribunal, held at the Columbia County Board of Education in Appling, dismissed the charges for lack of evidence, and Morgan returned to Greenbrier following the judgment. The remaining four suspended students, including James Shanks, will have their tribunals Tuesday.

Andy Chalker, the hearing officer in Morgan's case, would not reveal why he cleared Morgan. Glenn Morgan, Mack's father, wanted to resolve the situation as soon as possible, and believed his son's innocence would be proven once Mack gave his side of the story.

"He has maintained the entire time he did not drink anything," Glenn Morgan said. "It was concluded that he didn't."

The Elbert Police Department's supplemental report of the incident showed the 18-year-old Morgan had alcohol in his blood after an alcosensor test.

"(Rumors) have this child doing everything from selling dope to smoking dope," Morgan said. "None of this is true. I wanted to get separated from this other crap. The evidence they had was hearsay evidence, flawed evidence."

Most important was Mack getting back to school, his father said.

"He was sitting there not going to school, so we asked that he be allowed to have a hearing earlier so we could get this resolved and get him back in class," Glenn Morgan said.

"We requested a hearing sooner so we could get on about our lives. We've wasted enough time on this thing.

Mack Morgan missed four days of school and faced a possible long-term suspension if the judgment had gone against him.