Oxford Hills football coach resigns after allegedly posting nude photo on Facebook

Posted Feb. 13, 2012, at 2:53 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 14, 2012, at 4:53 a.m.
Paul Withee in 2008
Paul Withee in 2008

OXFORD, Maine — Oxford Hills School District football coach Paul Withee resigned from his post Monday morning after school officials received a complaint from a parent that Withee had posted a nude picture of himself on Facebook.

School Superintendent Rick Colpitts said Monday that he met with Withee, who also taught mathematics and science at the Oxford Hills Middle School, on Monday morning and accepted his resignation.

“He has chosen to resign for personal reasons. He is no longer employed with us,” Colpitts said.

Colpitts confirmed reports that Withee posted a nude picture of himself on his Facebook page last week that was intended to be seen by a personal friend but instead was inadvertently posted publicly.

A parent in the district discovered the picture and notified district officials on Feb. 7. Withee was immediately placed on paid leave, which is the normal procedure, while the district began an investigation.

Withee, a three-time state champion during his 19 years as football coach at Foxcroft Academy, was named the new varsity football coach at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in March.

Colpitts said that as far as he is aware, only the parent saw the picture, which Withee immediately took down as soon as he discovered the mistake. Under school district policy, teachers are allowed to “friend” students on Facebook, but as far as he could tell, Colpitts said Withee had no Oxford Hills School District students as “friends” on his page.

Coplitts said Withee did not do anything illegal. He simply made a mistake. “There was never any malicious intent. It (the picture) was never intended for the public. He tried to correct it. I feel badly for him. I wish him well,” Colpitts said.

Withee said Monday that his Facebook page was personal and that he has no students as “friends” on it.

“I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed, I’m humiliated,” Withee said when reached Monday. He said the picture was on the social media page for no more than a half-hour when he discovered what had happened and tried to correct it.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and I never will again,” he said.

“You have to be careful with what you do with social media. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble and something you love can be taken away from you just like this,” he said.

A substitute has taken over his classes at the middle school.

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