University of Georgia-bound quarterback Christian LeMay has been suspended from North Carolina’s Butler High School for 30 days for an undisclosed school system rules infraction allegedly committed toward the end of spring semester.
However, the LeMay family is appealing the recent ruling by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and his father insists the eventual outcome will not impact his son’s ability enroll at UGA and play football for the Bulldogs.
If LeMay’s appeal is unsuccessful he may transfer to a private school to complete high school, his father said.
“The original ruling has him reassigned to a CMS alternative school for 30 days,” Pastor Stacy LeMay said late Tuesday. “We are hoping for a more favorable outcome with the hopes of attending Butler, along with his brother [Uriah] and teammates. . . . However, if the ruling is not overturned we would be forced to pursue other options that would best enhance his future goals.”
An out-of-school suspension of 30 days was the maximum punishment for the infraction. The exact nature of the violation has never been revealed. Mr. LeMay emphasized that “it did not involve drugs, weapons or any form of violence.”
Initially a disciplinary hearing was held at the CMS offices in Charlotte on June 14th and a decision was expected to come within seven to 10 days. But the deliberation extended beyond that and now Mr. LeMay says a “final outcome” is not expected until “the end of August.”
Meanwhile, LeMay is unable to practice with the Butler High football team or participate in any school activities. And now his family has broken the silence they’ve maintained since the news of his alleged infraction was broken by the Charlotte Observer on June 11th.
On Tuesday, Stacy LeMay agreed to answer questions from the AJC about his son’s disciplinary travails provided that they were submitted via email and as long as his answers would appear in their entirety. I agreed to those conditions.
On the impending appeal: “We are expecting a more favorable outcome than originally determined. We are hopeful that CMS will be more reasonable, understanding and not maintain the original severe ruling for such a youthful infraction. Christian has been a model young man and has not had as much as a lunch detail in his school history. If we all lost our license for a first offense speeding violation there would not be many drivers on the road.”
On whether the suspension would prevent Christian from enrolling in college: “Rest assured that the infraction is not one that should cause any school that was recruiting Christian to be concerned. Again, it does not involve drugs, weapons, or any form of violence that would make him a threat to any college campus. He is the same Christian LeMay everyone knows and loves who made a youthful, unwise decision that is currently being judged with an overkill ruling.”
On their dealings with Georgia: “Nothing has changed concerning his plans to attend Georgia this coming spring. He is highly anticipating being a Bulldog and embracing the quality coaching and mentorship from the UGA coaching staff. He has received great support from UGA recruits and they all look forward to seeing him at ‘Dawg Night.’”
On Christian’s response/reaction: “He has certainly experienced disappointment in himself since the infraction. It also hurts him to not be able to be out on the field with his teammates preparing to defend their state championship. However, he has come to resolve that life and his playing days are not over and that his best days are in front of him. This hardship experience is actually increasing his faith and causing him to grow all the more as a mature man of God. We all go through times in which our faith commitment must stand trial. After confessing and forsaking his error he is moving forward and standing like a Champion.”
Stacy LeMay then issued this statement:
“Christian, his mother and I are very thankful for all the emails and encouraging comments from all across the nation. To everyone who reads this article, I would ask you to consider: If every youthful error you made was written up in an article, how large would the article be? If they were all placed on the news, how long would the video run? Thank you for your prayers for our family. Christian will rebound from this incident and reclaim his path to a great and successful destiny.”
LeMay completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards and 44 touchdowns with just two interceptions in leading Butler (15-0) to the North Carolina Class 4A state championship last fall. He chose the Bulldogs from a list of 35 scholarship offers in late April, including finalists Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
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