South River football coach Steve Erxleben was suspended indefinitely this week over what appears to be an issue of the safety of his players.
Bob Mosier, public information officer for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, said Erxleben was informed Tuesday "that he was being relieved of his duties while an investigation is under way into procedures followed regarding the care and safety of student-athletes."
Mosier said Thursday that he could not speak to the specifics of the case or say how long the investigation might take. He also did not know if any student-athletes were injured or how the issue came to the attention of South River officials, although he said it arose at the school level.
Other than to confirm the suspension of Erxleben, who is in his fifth season as the Seahawks' coach, South River athletic director Dave Klingel referred inquiries to Mosier.
Assistant coach Mitch Suplee is serving as acting head coach as the Seahawks prepare for their season opener Sept. 3 at home against Glen Burnie.
"Everyone is aware that football season begins next Friday night," Mosier said. "And so the investigation is moving as quickly as possible."
Players were informed of Erxleben's suspension before practice Tuesday and, Mosier said, parents were to receive a letter from the principal Thursday letting them know about it. The letter does not elaborate on the specifics of the investigation, he said.
"The issue for us is, when it comes to athletics, safety of the student-athletes is of paramount importance," Mosier said. "When an issue comes to our attention that concerns that, we're going to act in a manner that protects as much as possible the safety and well-being of the student-athletes."
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