Police arrested a high school soccer coach in Texas after he spent thousands at a strip club in Houston on the school’s credit card. Initially, J.D. Bales claimed the charge was fraudulent. However, evidence indicated otherwise. Police then arrested Bales before he posted a bond of $10,000.

The incident happened in July during a coaching clinic. Bales spent $5,455.81 on a district credit card at The Men’s Club of Houston. Eventually, Bales submitted payment for the charge. Yet, the overwhelming evidence against Bales centered around the fact that he used taxpayer money at a strip club in Houston. The Wise County District Attorney, which oversees the region including Bridgeport High School, indicted Bales. After that, the DA issued a warrant for Bales’ arrest.

The Bridgeport Independent School Department accepted Bales’ resignation in September earlier this year. At the time, the Bridgeport ISD said it was investigating “allegations of misconduct regarding the use of district funds.”

“[Bales] resigned from both his coaching position and his role as a [special education] teacher at Bridgeport Middle School [Sept. 8],” the statement read. “Superintendent Dr. Amy Ellis confirmed that the decision to accept the resignation is in the best interest of Bridgeport ISD and the athletic program.”

The Bridgeport Athletic Department hired Bales in 2018. He coached the soccer team and served as an assistant on the football team. Yet, this was not the only controversy that surrounded the Bridgeport Bulls soccer program.

Soccer coach at a strip club is not the only concern

This same soccer program was already under the microscope for previous instances of concern. During its time in the playoffs in 2023, the Bridgeport Police Department investigated the soccer program following allegations of hazing. The soccer team fielded accusations of underclassmen suffering at the hands of those already on the team.

“The investigation revealed that over the 2022-23 soccer season, several upperclassmen (players) were involved in the hazing initiation of underclassmen, described as ‘de-pantsing,’” Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford told The Wise County Messenger. “These incidents involved the underclassmen (some as young as 14 years old) being restrained or held down while multiple subjects removed articles of the victim’s clothing, including their pants and underwear. The victim reported that while in an unclothed state, they were filmed and made to repeat phrases such as ‘I’m your b***h.’”

All of the hazing rituals were part of the initiation for underclassmen joining the team. This happened between October 2022 and March 2023. In the end, police arrested six players on the high school’s soccer team. Each of the players picked up a charge of a Class B misdemeanor.

Bales is no longer affiliated with Bridgeport ISD

The Bridgeport ISD has cut off its ties with J.D. Bales after all of the issues surrounding the soccer program. The Texas school’s newest soccer season starts at the end of the year. The school’s season runs through March with games scheduled against teams from around Texas. The playoffs will begin after the conclusion of the regular season. J.D. Bales will not be on the sidelines with the team this season.

Photo: Imago