News broke over the weekend that head varsity coach Reggie Torres and JV coach Ikaika Plunkett were suspended indefinitely by the school administration. The timing comes just as the nationally ranked football program begins its early season training in preparation for the upcoming season. Sources say several JV players were caught with illegal substances while the team was on their camp on campus and the reason for the suspensions was that the incident was not reported to the administration by the coaches.
Apparently the coaches punished the players with a midnight 90-minute run on Tuesday morning followed by additional running later that morning. At some point Plunkett had informed Torres of the situation and it is believed that Principal Donna Lindsey found out about the situation on Thursday after a parent complained.
This situation is now on top of a small pile of negative occurrences with the program which includes last season’s disqualification from the OIA playoffs. The #1 ranked team at the time was found to have used an ineligible player and despite a legal attempt to get reinstated, the Red Raiders, favored for a state title, watched from the sidelines.
Athletic director Joe Whitford is currently on paid leave stemming from that situation and was not on duty as the AD during this most recent controversy.
Some people would as the question, “Why suspend Torres if it was the JV players that broke the rules?”
In the high school level, it is the varsity coach who is responsible for the entire sport, JV and varsity. For ILH schools you can include the intermediate teams too. Therefore Torres would be the person to notify the administration (VP Pat Macadangdang who is serving in the AD role temporarily) of such a violation immediately. Department of Education rules are very clear and strict on possession of illegal substances on school property or during a school function. Once Torres was made away of the situation, he is responsible to enforce the policy and communicate through the chain of command. Reggie Torres would be the first man to support this process.
It is possible that the coaches tried to handle the situation internally. It is possible that Coach Torres and Plunkett were trying to discipline their players and avoid suspensions from school. As Torres would no doubt feel that it is better that the kids are in school.
In any case, Torres is taking another hit.