Letters to the Editor

Paso Robles children pay the price with new football coach pick

St. Louis Rams linebacker Larry Grant is seen on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in St. Louis.
St. Louis Rams linebacker Larry Grant is seen on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in St. Louis. The Associated Press

So the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously selected fired Clovis North High School defensive assistant coach and NFL drug test failure Larry Grant to head football coach at the high school.

The popular Rich Schimke was fired after 17 years of competency and unassailed character after a questionable incident with a player. No doubt the incident was worthy of review and scrutiny, and the decision to fire Schimke is supportable. Still, if the review indicated malfeasance, why was he retained as a faculty member? Comparing Schimke’s 17-year record as coach and teacher certainly trumps Grant’s limited coaching history and manifest character flaws. Paso leaders have given Grant the benefit of the doubt, something they did not give Schimke even after near unanimous support from students, faculty and parents.

On the surface, Grant lacks the character and coaching success to ascend to the position at the high school. Perhaps we don’t have all the facts or criterion the decision was based upon.

So were these decisions made in the best interests of the students and the community, or simply another example of political correctness and incompetence manifested by a monopolistic public education system?

I fear we have succumbed to something less than educational mediocrity and our children are paying the price.

We can do better.

Dominic Ferrante, Atascadero

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