From Monday night's meeting with San Clemente High officials and Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Joe Farley:
A private investigator’s recent findings into financial improprieties with defunct Lapes Athletic Team Sales led Capistrano Unified School administrators to remove San Clemente High football coaches last week, district officials told parents tonight.
In a carefully choreographed meeting about the decision to put the coaches on administrative leave, Principal George Duarte backed by Superintendent Joe Farley addressed the nearly 100 parents in the Triton Center and fielded their questions. The administrators spent about 45 minutes assuring parents they were doing their best to keep the student-athletes’ best interests at heart while discussing the bare-bone basics of a months-long investigation into alleged kickbacks.
“The reason we’re here is because we take this entire situation seriously,” Duarte said. “It’s been tough.”
Last week, Triton head football Coach Eric Patton and four additional coaches were abruptly pulled from their coaching jobs, leaving players and their parents frustrated and concerned about a season only days away from starting.
None of the coaches have been charged criminally, but Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said last week his agency is investigating Lapes Athletic and coaches.
Tonight, parents voiced concern about their boys, the reputations of the coaches and the future of the program.
“I just think the process needs to be looked at,” said parent Tom Donnelly.