The incident that led to Paso Robles High School head football coach Rich Schimke being placed on paid administrative leave this week occurred Oct. 14 with a football player, according to a letter distributed Friday by the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.
The letter addressed to the “Bearcat Community” goes on to say that the school district was notified of the incident Oct. 23, the same day the Paso Robles Police Department was notified. The district then decided to place Schimke, who has been the Bearcats’ head coach since 1999, on leave as it conducted an investigation. The district continues to “review the nature of the incident and information gathered during the administrative investigation,” the letter said.
“The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is dedicated to the highest standards of conduct and ensuring that student safety and core values are maintained. We thank the Bearcat community for your patience and understanding while we continue to review this matter,” it concludes.
The letter also reiterates news reported Thursday that the Paso Robles Police Department’s subsequent investigation discovered that no criminal activity took place.
Meanwhile, several players reached by The Tribune have expressed support for Schimke.
“All I can say is that nothing illegal occurred and the allegations against (Schimke) are blown out of proportion,” senior wide receiver Seth Matthysse said. “My parents and I back Schimke 100 percent. At the moment, our team is focused on the game tonight.”
Senior quarterback Steven Schouten declined to comment on the incident itself but said he and his parents support Schimke “100 percent and can vouch for his character.”
Assistant Matt Carroll, the football team’s defensive coordinator, has been named interim head coach and will lead the team in its game Friday night against Righetti.