Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sheldon Parents React To Principal's Decision

Sheldon High School principal Paula Duncan told me Thursday she completed a three-week investigation into parents' claims that varsity baseball coach Mike Hughes was recruiting players from other high schools, thus not giving their sons a chance for playing time. 

“I have interviewed many students, I have looked into the allegations, I can tell you there is nothing that sustains any recruiting,” Duncan said Thursday.

The parents in calling for Hughes' to be fired cite in their letter dated Aug. 10 and emailed to the Citizen that day four players by name who played for a tournament team coached by Hughes the past few summers. Two of those players were freshmen on the varsity squad at Sheldon this past spring and had playing time. 

CIF rules do not allow athletes to follow a non-school team coach to a high school and compete in sports. The parents say those two players should have been ineligible last season. 

EGUSD athletic director Jim Smrekar ruled about three weeks ago that those players transferred to Sheldon legally.

Duncan also said Thursday that she attempted to meet in person with the parents responsible for writing the letter.

“When (Sheldon athletic director) Denise (Aguilar) offered to meet with any parent, especially those who were involved in the parents’ letter, not one parent would come forward, not one,” Duncan said.

I contacted three parents for their reaction. I was the person that informed them of Duncan's decision. Upset and disappointed are understatements for their reaction. 

The parents asked their names not be used in this story because of the fear their sons would be harassed at school. 

Update (9/11) - One father of a parent did want to go on the record. Read his comments in Friday's Elk Grove Citizen. A copy of a letter signed by 21 parents of baseball players demanding Hughes' firing was also delivered to the Citizen's office today. The parent said a copy of the letter was also hand-delivered to Smrekar and to Duncan. 

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