FLOYD — What lawyers are calling the “moon over Floyd” case was put on hold Thursday — with a judge saying that if there’s no more trouble, a Roanoke County coach’s wife could have her indecent exposure charge dropped.
Debbie L. McCulley, 57, of Salem, the wife of Glenvar High School junior varsity softball Coach Mark McCulley, was charged after a May game between Glenvar’s JV Highlanders and the Floyd County JV Buffaloes. The Buffaloes won 6-5 and after the game, according to an investigator, Debbie McCulley went to the field and mooned people in the stands.
McCulley “stood on or close to the pitchers mound and pulled down her pants with her right hand to expose her right butt cheek,” said a narrative that Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy G.H. Scott filed with an arrest warrant. There were children and adults in the stands, according to Scott’s account.
Scott wrote that he’d received a complaint about the incident from the principal of Floyd County High School and later spoke to seven witnesses who corroborated the account of the mooning.
The officer wrote that McCulley told him that after the game, her husband went to “confront” the Floyd County coach. McCulley thought her husband “was going to be attacked so she was trying to get the attention off of him,” Scott wrote.
None of the events that prompted the charge were discussed in Thursday’s brief hearing in Floyd County General District Court.
McCulley stood with her attorney, Richard Padgett, of Salem, as he and Floyd County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryan Hupp said there was an agreement to continue the case for six months. Judge David Mullins scheduled an administrative hearing for Feb. 21.
The usual course of events would be for the charge to be dismissed or for McCulley to receive a suspended sentence, Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom wrote in an email after the hearing.
Branscom wrote that his understanding is that McCulley has written a letter of apology and will perform community service. As for her statement that she thought her husband would be attacked, “I didn’t find that to make very much sense,” Branscom wrote.
Debbie McCulley has been banned from Floyd County sporting events, Branscom wrote.
Glenvar High School Athletic Director Richard McElwee did not respond in May to requests for comment about the incident and was out of the office Thursday due to a family situation. Glenvar Principal Corie Franklin did not reply to a call about the incident Thursday.
Chris Robinson of the Virginia High School League, which sets athletics program standards for member schools, said that coaches and athletic directors identified sportsmanship as an area the league should focus on in education efforts over the next few years. Those efforts will target coaches, athletes and parents, Robinson said.
A high school athletic director for 14 years before becoming an assistant director at the league, Robinson said that his sense is that crowd behavior at high school games is “probably leaning a little bit in the wrong direction.”
The league gathers statistics on player and coach ejections, but other aspects of crowd behavior are left to individual schools, he said.
Speaking about fans generally, not about McCulley, Robinson said, “Folks need to understand that paying their five or six bucks doesn’t give them a green light to berate officials or coaches or players.
“We hope they’ll be there to support their respective teams.”