Second Report Links Board Member to Coach

Melinda Anderson

BLYTHEWOOD – A second incident report from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department surfaced late last week, again linking Richland 2 School Board member Melinda Anderson to Westwood High School head football coach Rodney Summers.

The report covers an incident of “intimidation” that took place on Oct. 30 at a Westwood High School football practice. According to the report, Anderson dispatched 69-year-old Clero Evans, of Rockingham Road in Columbia, to the football field to watch practice. Summers told deputies he felt threatened by Evans’s presence, the report states, and requested an official report for the record. Evans reportedly told deputies he had been sent by Anderson, and “after a verbal altercation” between Evans and Jason Nussbaum, the team’s trainer, Evans left the scene.

“It was more like a conversation,” Nussbaum later told The Voice. “Eventually, the guy left when told to. We had great support from everybody, and we put it in the hands of the school board where it belongs.  We are here just to play ball.”

Summers declined to comment, as he gets his Redhawks ready for this week’s road trip to Greer. Nussbaum, however, called the incident “disappointing.”

“We were just looking out for our kids’ safety, as it were,” Nussbaum said. “We had a stranger in our presence. We didn’t know who he was, so we took the steps we would take with anybody.”

Anderson, who in an Oct. 7 incident reportedly threatened the life of Summers, “was told to have no contact with coach Summers or his staff,” the most recent report states.

According to the Oct. 7 report, Anderson was in a meeting at Westwood High School on Oct. 7 with Acting Superintendent Debbie Hamm and the District’s Human Resources Officer, Roosevelt Garrick Jr., to discuss the treatment of her grandson by Summers. Hamm, who filed the report, told the Sheriff’s Department that during the meeting Anderson said, “I’m so angry I just want to kill the coach, and I have a gun.” Summers was not present at the meeting.

Anderson has since denied she made that statement, and last week told The Voice the alleged incident was nothing more than “some foolishness cooked up by certain administrators.”

The Board issued a statement last week indicating that they had addressed the issue and that threats and harassment would not be tolerated. No charges were filed in either incident.

Attempts to reach Anderson for comment on this most recent report were unsuccessful at press time.