Former California High basketball coach Bob Donovan told the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday that he was improperly forced out of his coaching job, the Contra Costa Times and The Californian reported.
The reason why Donovan says the school district forced him to resign was because in October 2010 he let basketball coach Mike Phelps observe one of his practices.
Phelps, one of the winningest high school coaches in California history, was accused in 2003 of molesting a child about 40 years earlier. The Bishop O'Dowd High School coach pleaded not guilty and the case was thrown after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that allowed prosecutors to file charges against those accused of sex offenses after the statute of limitations had expired.
During a packed school board meeting with many in attendance supporting Donovan, he told the school board that a group of parents had anonymously emailed district administrators with various accusations against him.
The Times quoted Donovan as saying:
Ms. Shelton informed me that I was exonerated of all the charges made by the parent except for allowing Mike Phelps into the gym...Ms. Shelton went on to inform me that, in her opinion, I made a poor decision to let Mr. Phelps into the gym, and she could not defend my decision to this parent or any other parent. They gave me a choice to resign or be fired. Ms. Romeo further stated that while the district's decision would not affect my teaching position, I would never be allowed to coach in the San Ramon Valley Unified District again."
One of Donovan's assistant coaches, Miguel Campos, also spoke at the meeting and said a few parents were behind the ouster and one of the women involved told him that, "We are very wealthy. I don't work, and I have nothing but time. I'm going to fight this to the end."
The Californian reported there were concerns about Donovan from parents since he was hired in 2010, according to a member of the committee that hired Donovan.
The Californian talked with Cal High's former baseball coach Brian Coburn, who was in charge from 2002-09.
He told the student paper that he left the program for similar reasons.
"I don’t know why the school district listens to this small minority of (parents),” Coburn told The Californian.
The paper also reported that Donovan was third Cal High coach to resign this year because of parent involvement.
The school district has not commented on the situation.
Do you think Donovan should have been fired? What role do you think parents should play with their child's teams? Do you think the school district handled this correctly?