LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tuesday night was the first time former University of Louisville Dance Coach Todd Sharp has spoken out since being let go from his job.
He wanted to share his side of the story with WAVE 3 News after he accidentally shot himself at the downtown Marriott Hotel near a UofL baseball dinner last month.
He admitted that he was carrying a loaded gun, saying it went off accidentally and wounded his leg. He added that it was a dumb accident, saying he had no idea a UofL baseball event was going on at the hotel with athletic administrators attending.
But Sharp also had much more to say about the investigation against him.
“My silence up until this point has been (due to my) shock and disbelief,” Sharp said, “It takes one disgruntled parent with an agenda to cause so much problems.”
Sharp said he blames one parent for those problems. The multi- national-championship-winning coach and reality star did fall about as far from the top of the pyramid as one can.
“To assassinate my career and my life, I will never understand how that happened,” Sharp said.
The WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters investigated the accusations against Sharp in 2018, when Sharp claims the parent, who had daughters at both UofL and Floyd Central High School, had complained about his accounting when he was coach of the Floyd Central Dazzlers.
In an e-mail, she questioned why checks were made to Sharp, but invoices showed no payments were made for uniforms and a dance camp. Sharp said money was always in short supply for cheer, and that he fundraised for more.
He also said students practiced at facilities paid for by coaches.
“I’m not a bookkeeper, and I’m not a fundraising coordinator,” Sharp said. “My strong point is not paperwork and organization, but I was working 70-plus hours a week coaching these kids day in and day out.”
In April 2018, Sharp was reprimanded, but not fired following an investigation at Floyd Central. A few weeks later, he resigned after claiming the same parent made the same allegations at UofL. A school audit found the Ladybirds’ dance team account was missing around $40,000.
Sharp said he was then fired in a letter.
“I never had a face-to-face meeting with (UofL athletic director Vince Tyra, or Christine Herring, who was my sport administrator,” he said.
Sharp’s attorney, Larry Wilder, said he hasn’t ever been provided any evidence in the audit or the campus police investigation. Sharp hasn’t been charged with any crime.
The parent has told WAVE 3 News that she stands by her claims.
Sharp said he now fears the recent publicity over the accidental shooting and UofL banning him from campus and university events will hurt his ability to get consulting jobs at other schools. He also said he had recently been advising some colleges.
Sharp said he fell into a deep depression after the loss of his job, tragic health events of friends and family, including a granddaughter who was stillborn.
“I’ve just been able to get my bearings, you know, and I’ve made some bad decisions,” he said, “I’m not perfect, never was, never will be, but I think in the depression and the shock and some self-medicating, I was in a bad place.”
Sharp said while he was depressed, he was never suicidal and wouldn’t hurt anyone else.