Firing of state championship coach causes a stir

Firing of state championship coach causes a stir

Credit: Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com

South Plaquemines Head Coach Cyril Crutchfield will be relieved of his coaching duties after allegedly using a profanity in front of a female teacher. Crutchfield said he will fight the accusations.

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by Bradley Handwerger / Eyewitness Sports

wwltv.com

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 27 at 2:59 PM

NEW ORLEANS ― The South Plaquemines Parish School Board has suspended head football coach Cyril Crutchfield for allegedly using a profanity in front of a female teacher.

Superintendent Denis Rousselle said his original decision, based on an investigation this past week, was to relieve Crutchfield of his coaching duties and suspend him five days without pay upon which time he would be able to return as the school’s P.E. teacher and bus driver.

But Crutchfield is appealing the move and, for now, is suspended with pay, Rousselle said.

“That’s all I can tell you,” Rousselle said. “It’s a personnel matter.”

Crutchfield couldn’t be reached for comment other than to confirm his suspension Tuesday.

Crutchfield coached the Hurricanes’ football team to back-to-back state Class 1A titles in 2007 and 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2009.

Meanwhile, the move has shaken the South Plaquemines community.

Vanessa Ragas, a member of the PTA, said a meeting is set for 6 o’clock tonight with Rousselle in an attempt to get clarification on why he decided to relieve Crutchfield from his duties as head football coach for the Hurricanes.

But Rousselle said no one has contacted him about a meeting, adding that because a hearing is scheduled, “I can’t discuss anything with them anyway.”

Ragas, whose son Eric is a quarterback on the football team, said Rousselle has tried for months to fire Crutchfield and the last time he met with the school community about the coach, he told parents to “shut up,” behavior she called inappropriate.

Ragas said it wasn’t fair to Crutchfield to notify him only 24 hours before the move would be made official.

“Everybody deserves a fair chance,” Ragas said. “He’s not doing that. He literally wants him gone.”

She added, “He said he did something inappropriate but you still allow him to teach? You allow him to still drive the bus? You didn’t wait to make a decision on this and made the decision yourself. All of a sudden on Monday, he’s no longer the coach? I thought there was a protocol.”

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