Oakland Mills' fall coaches hold off signing

High Schools

May 05, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The entire fall coaching staff at Oakland Mills declined to sign their contracts by a Monday deadline because of concerns over eligibility procedures and equity issues.

They had two of their concerns addressed by Howard County coordinator of athletics Don Disney during a meeting yesterday afternoon at Oakland Mills.

"The coaches made a good point about not being forced to sign their contracts before the rest of the county coaches sign theirs," Disney said.

He intends to ask his superiors today to issue a directive setting a timetable for all county coaches in the signing of their fall contracts.

Disney said he hoped that the deadline would be before June 1, and preferably on May 25.

"The Oakland Mills coaches positions will be held open for now," Disney said.

However, four openings for which there are no returning coaches will be advertised immediately.

Additionally, Disney said the coaches had legitimate concerns about eligibility procedures.

The chief concern was the certification of the grades of incoming freshmen. Howard County is the only jurisdiction in the state with a freshman eligibility policy. The middle school grades are handwritten and easy to change, say the coaches.

"[Disney] assured me that changes will be made in our procedures and accountability, and that he would sign my roster and vouch for everyone on it," said boys soccer coach Don Shea.

The concerns arose after football coach, athletic director and history teacher Ken Hovet was placed on unpaid administrative leave from all three positions for his alleged role in an illegal grade change for a football player.

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