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Associated Press, Published August 24 2012

Bismarck High football coach suspended 4 games for public display of affection

BISMARCK — A high school football coach who has led his team to four North Dakota championships has been suspended without pay for four games after a summer incident involving a female school employee.

Bismarck High coach Mark Gibson broke school conduct rules with the woman in July, Superintendent Tamara Uselman said.

"One employee saw two others engaging in conduct that exceeds the boundaries for public displays of affection in a public building," Uselman told The Bismarck Tribune. "There was no sexual intercourse. That was never the report from the witness. Had it been, that would have been grounds for termination."

The punishment was imposed Wednesday. Gibson announced last week that he would be taking a leave of absence.

"I apologize more than you ever know to my wife, my family, my kids, our football players and their families," Gibson told the Tribune. "I just feel that there's not enough — I can't say sorry enough to those people that I let down."

Gibson also teaches. He has been reassigned from the high school to a middle school. The female staffer involved also has been transferred to another building.

"We want moral conduct and we want high standards; that's a fair expectation," Uselman told KXMB-TV.

Bismarck High is scheduled to play in West Fargo Friday night and will host Fargo Davies on Aug. 31 in Bismarck.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.