Louisville’s Trinity High School canceled classes Thursday, after receiving threats due to the decision of Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, a school alum, to turn down an offer to coach Louisville.
The entire Brohm family has attended Trinity and the family patriarch, Oscar, is currently an assistant coach with the high school, ESPN reported.
But the school was shut down after news emerged that Brohm decided not to leave Perdue despite an offer to coach at the University of Louisville.
“We take these threats seriously, especially toward a school, “St. Matthews police Chief Barry Wilkerson told ESPN. “We’re going to investigate as much as we can at this point. It’s difficult when you have Twitter accounts to trace back, so it’s a little more complex than pushing a button and figuring out who it is. We’ll investigate it fully and bring charges if necessary.”
Chief Wilkerson added that the threat was classified as a terroristic threatening second degree, a Class D felony, and justified the cancellation of classes as appropriate even if the threat was a joke.
“It doesn’t matter if the nature of it at the moment was satirical. It caused alarm. It’s a threat,” police Maj. Tony Cobaugh added. “You’re talking about burning down a school building. I don’t think there’s any other way to look at it.”
Chief Wilkerson also said that even if the threat was a joke or hoax, there could still be consequences for the sender. The chief noted that the FBI says that even hoaxes cause real-world consequences.
“Even if it’s a hoax, it’s not a good thing to do, it puts a lot of people in a bad situation,” the chief said. “So yes, we would probably still prosecute if our commonwealth attorney wishes to do that.”
Still, some are shocked by the school’s decision to shut down, USA Today reported.
Mark Ennis, radio host on 93.9 FM in Louisville, claimed he knows who posted the tweet the school found threatening but says that the account is a well-known satire account and should never have been taken seriously.
“The person accused of tweeting the threat is easily (one of) the funniest Louisville fans I know, and his tweets were so obviously over the top that no sane person would take them as an actual threat,” Ennis said. “The guy bought a promoted tweet once to mock Bama fans. This is ridiculous.”
“The same guy who allegedly threatened Trinity said Louisville should pick between Neal Brown or the bubonic plague for its new coach. This is an absurd overreaction. Shame on all of you. He was ‘mocking’ overreaction, not reacting,” Ennis added.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.