Eldon basketball coach in fight to save job

Parents in the Eldon School District are fighting to save their basketball coach.

Coach Jim Lincoln has been accused of pushing a player on another basketball team.

About 150 people showed up Tuesday afternoon at a hearing at the middle school to voice support for Lincoln.

The issue surfaced back in June at a tournament at the School of the Osage.

Coach Lincoln was walking through a line shaking hands when, parents and players say, a player on the other team pushed Lincoln.

But, Eldon School Administrators believe Lincoln elbowed the kid first.

A video was supplied by the opposing team.

It was shot as the teams were shaking hands after the game.

There is some sort of encounter, but it's hard to tell who did what first, and impossible to know what was said.

Parent, John Hall was there, "I'm looking back and I see the kid push Lincoln in the shoulder and kind of shove him, as he was getting up and talking in his face".

Lincoln's players told KRCG the other team had it out for them because of a problem at a previous tournament, "He was just reacting to poor sportsmanship. He told them come on and play the game if you think you can beat us then prove it on the court, don't hold the ball for six minutes come on prove it to us", player, Dakoda Wright said.

Wright went on to say the other team was heckling Lincoln during the game, "They were just pointing and laughing and cursing at him, I could hear curse words."

Todd Mercer runs several basketball tournaments and has known Lincoln for more than a decade, "We've never had problems with him or his teams, Lincoln's been bringing his teams probably over ten years, like I said we started 13 years ago, never once had any issue with him."

But, officials at the tournament that day said Lincoln had a temper. They said Lincoln was cursing in front of the other team and to the officials during the game.

The board will have 72 hours to decide if they will fire Jim Lincoln.

We did attempt to talk to school board members and administrators.

They would not comment.

We also tried to find parents in the audience who did not support Lincoln, but had no luck.

In the interest of full disclosure, we think you should know Coach Lincoln is the owner of Central Missouri Athletics Company, which is an occasional sponsor of KRCG Sports.