It was back in May when the Insite did a series of reports on Bellaire High School’s baseball team. Several parents and a former volunteer coach came forward claiming they had to come off the cash to get their students significant playing time on the baseball team under coach Rocky Manual. Now the Houston Chronicle tackles the issue. Here’s what they’re reporting and take a look at the Insite’s old stories:
As dramatic as high school sports can be, sometimes the more intense battles involve the student-athletes’ impassioned parents.
Such a dispute is revolving around the Bellaire High School baseball program, one of the most successful in the Houston Independent School District.
One father is accusing veteran coach Rocky Manuel of pressuring parents to donate money, while another is criticizing HISD’s limited oversight of booster clubs — which raise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for high school athletics in the district.
The coach says he has done nothing wrong. The head of one team booster club says the criticism is unjustified.
HISD is asking Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for an opinion on whether the district is responsible for maintaining booster clubs’ financial records. The opinion, expected this week, could affect the relationship between school systems and booster clubs across Texas.
Fear of the bench
Richard Wills says he spent $93 on premium cigars for Manuel when his son was on the baseball team. He says he also agreed to give Manuel $500 to cover airfare for another coach.
“Parents will do anything for their kids, and the coaches know that,” said Wills, whose son graduated in 2006. “I was so afraid, as my wife was, of what would happen if we say no to this coach. Does my child sit on the bench three years?”
Wills filed a complaint with the University Interscholastic League last school year, accusing Manuel of pressuring parents for money. The UIL governs Texas high school sports.
A group of HISD principals who make up the local UIL board agreed in late June to schedule a hearing on some of the allegations. No date is set.
Manuel, through his attorney, Martin Levy, denied wrongdoing. Levy said the coach bought cigars for Wills in return and repaid him for the airfare, but Wills says he is still owed $200.
FULL STORY AT CHRON.COM
FOX REPORTER #2: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=3AEDB5D89656336A7DD26A9557D33C3E?contentId=3228942&version=4&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&amp;amp;amp;amp;pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1