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T-Ball Coach Allegedly Paid Player to Assault
Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2005
From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-
old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn't have to put the boy in the game, police
said Friday.

Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, Pa., is accused of offering one of his players the
money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police
Downs didn't want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.

The boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and
did not play, police said.

"The coach was very competitive," state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said.
"He wanted to win."

Downs was arrested and arraigned Friday on charges including criminal solicitation to
commit aggravated assault and corruption of minors. He was released from jail on an
unsecured bond and could not be reached for comment.

The alleged assault happened June 27 in North Union Township, Pa., about 40 miles
southeast of Pittsburgh, authorities said.

The boy's mother asked state police to investigate her son's injuries because she
suspected Downs wanted to keep the boy off the field, despite a league rule that
required each player to participate in three innings a game, Broadwater said.

Eric Forsythe, president of the R.W. Clark Youth Baseball League, said Downs had two
daughters on the T-ball team.

League organizers investigated accusations against Downs before the T-ball season
ended earlier this month but could not prove that he did anything wrong.
Are coaches also abused by
the system that trains them?
2nd witness says Scotty Eveland complained of
headaches before collapse

jSee more on Eveland case
[Maura Larkins note:

Kids are taught to do what coaches and teachers want without question.  Why?  
Because it's easier that way--for the adults.  I think we'd have a better-educated
population if adults were willing to subject at least some of their decisions to a critical-
thinking process.  Sometimes adults are wrong, and there is no need for them to be
ashamed of this fact.  It's inevitable that adults will make mistakes.  

What they should be ashamed of is covering up their mistakes and lying about them.  
Of course school employees are told to keep quiet.  Also, school attorneys instruct
witnesses not to answer questions during depositions.  I wonder how many times this
happened during the 50 depositions in this case?  It would be a lot easier for the
courts to administer justice if lawyers instructed their clients to tell the truth.

Why didn't the school investigate this horrible tragedy on the football field?  The
school is paid by taxpayers to help students, not hurt them.  The school should not
have let a week pass without interviewing the student trainers and adults involved in
this incident.  And then the school should have done the right thing by making
reparation for damage done to a student, rather than forcing the student's family to
struggle for years trying to find the truth.]

By J. Harry Jones
January 15, 2011

SAN MARCOS — A former student trainer has testified that a few days after Mission
Hills High football player Scotty Eveland collapsed during a game in 2007, the school’s
lead trainer confided that Eveland had asked to sit out because he was suffering from
headaches and disorientation but was called in anyway by the head coach.

The account, given during a deposition completed Wednesday, corroborates
testimony from another former student trainer who was deposed in October.

The San Marcos Unified School District has maintained that Eveland showed no sign of
medical problems before the collapse. Scott Gommel, the lead trainer, said the same
during his deposition four months ago. A judge has agreed to let lawyers for Eveland’s
family redepose Gommel because of the new information.

Eveland has remained in a mostly vegetative state since his collapse. Doctors think he
will need constant medical care that could cost millions of dollars over his lifetime.

Testimony from the two former student trainers is part of evidence collection in an
ongoing lawsuit filed by Eveland’s family against the school district.

San Marcos Unified is confident it will “absolutely be vindicated” at trial, said Daniel
Shinoff, a lawyer for the district. He also urged that facts be decided in a court of law
and not in the court of public opinion.

Shinoff said it’s a complicated case “in terms of people’s perceptions, people’s
recollection, and there’s a large passage of time.”

On Thursday, school officials denied a request to interview Gommel and the head
football coach, Chris Hauser, who has not been deposed.

Robert Francavilla, an attorney for Eveland’s family, said the latest deposition confirms
what really happened.

“Scotty lives every day with an injury that we believe could have been prevented,”
Francavilla said.

Eveland’s parents, Diane Luth and stepfather Paul Luth, said they had no idea their
son was experiencing headaches. They now devote themselves to caring for him.

Until Breanna Bingen’s deposition in September, there was no mention of Eveland
having a health complication.

More than 50 depositions have been taken for the lawsuit — from doctors, paramedics
and others connected to the football team or the game. Only Bingen and now Trevor
Sattes have spoken about Eveland complaining of headaches, although one player
testified that Eveland was acting disoriented during the game.

Until this fall, the family had focused their lawsuit against the maker of Eveland’s
helmet and the question of whether Eveland was sent to the hospital in a timely
manner. The information from Bingen and Sattes has changed the target dramatically,
Francavilla said.

Bingen testified that she was one of several student trainers on the field the night of
Eveland’s collapse. She recalled that he twice complained about headaches during the
week before the game and sat out parts of two practices. She also remembered
overhearing him tell Gommel a few minutes before the game about not being able to
see the football because his head was killing him.

Eveland wanted to skip at least the first quarter in hopes that his head would feel
better, Bingen testified, but Hauser disagreed and told Gommel, “you’re no doctor.”

Bingen, now a member of the Army National Guard, hasn’t been available for comment.

The person who corroborated her testimony was Sattes, now 21 and a college student
studying to become a trainer. Sattes testified that he considered Gommel to be his
mentor, and that he met with Gommel for lunch the Monday or Tuesday following
Eveland’s collapse.

In a statement signed by Sattes and then confirmed during the deposition, Sattes said:
“While eating lunch, I asked Mr. Gommel again what happened with Scotty. He told me
he was going to explain what occurred in order to make me a better trainer. ... Mr.
Gommel then stated that Scotty told him he did not feel well enough to play the first
quarter and that Scotty did not feel like he should play. Mr. Gommel told me that he
assessed Scotty’s condition and found him to be a little wobbly and having trouble

“Mr. Gommel then told me he went to Coach Hauser to discuss Scotty’s condition. ...
Mr. Gommel said Coach Hauser made the decision to play Scotty.”

Through school officials, Hauser declined to comment for this story.

During her deposition, Bingen also testified that Principal Brad Lichtman, Gommel and
an assistant football coach told her and others to not talk about the case with lawyers
or the media. An attorney for the school district said that never happened, and Sattes
didn’t address that issue in his deposition.
[Temecula Valley USD] Chaparral principal declines to
meet with group to discuss football coach’s dismissal
By Jose Arballo Jr.
January 31, 2011

About 40 parents and players who met at Chaparral High School looking to discuss the
apparent removal of football Coach Tommy Leach with Principal Gilbert Compton were
told the school administrator would not meet with the group Monday morning.

Instead, a school representative told the group, which gathered in the school’s main
office, that Compton would meet individually with parents and students. Several of
those who met with Compton said later he told them very little and would not explain the
apparent dismissal of Leach, whose team won the CIF title two years ago and made the
playoffs five years during his tenure.

“This is not over,” said Anthony Guillory, whose son, Darius, is a senior star safety and
slot receiver at Chaparral. Guillory met with Compton for about two minutes. “We will be

Compton, who is in his second year as head of the Temecula school, met with several
reporters individually, but would not discuss Leach’s status or even confirm that the
coach had been removed. With students standing outside his office window — some
holding signs urging Leach’s reinstatement – Compton said the decision to remove the
football coach is his and it would be more appropriate to discuss the matter individually.

Compton said he “respected the students’ voice” but would not comment on the
reasons Leach may have been removed, the search for a new coach or whether
someone else is being considered for the position.

Parents and students began gathering in the school parking lot about 7:30 a.m., some
saying they had only heard about Leach’s dismissal over the weekend.

Guillory said he was shocked to learn the news, although he acknowledged there are
those who do not like Leach’s approach to coaching. Leach can come across as brash
and cocky...
Coaches in schools
Former UCR player, USD assistant basketball coach
among those named in alleged sports-bribery ring
Federal prosecutors in San Diego said the organizers conspired to bribe players to
alter the outcome of games so the defendants could profit by betting on games in Las
By Staff,  City News Service
Monday, April 11, 2011

A former UC Riverside basketball player was among 10 people named in a federal
indictment unsealed today in connection with an alleged sports-bribery ring that offered
bribes to college basketball players to fix games.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego alleged the organizers conspired to bribe players to
alter the outcome of games so the defendants could profit by betting on games in Las

Brandon Dowdy, 22, who played UCR from 2008-2010, was among those indicted.

Also indicted were former University of San Diego star basketball player Brandon
Johnson, and former USD assistant coach Thaddeus Brown. Dowdy also played at USD
during the 2006-2007 season.

The indictment alleges that in February 2011, Brown and Dowdy solicited an individual
to affect the outcome of a college basketball game at UCR.

Dowdy, of San Diego, and several other defendants were expected to make their first
appearance in San Diego federal court on Tuesday, said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

She alleged that the three lead defendants in the case — San Diego residents Steve
Warda Goria, Paul Joseph Thweni and Richard Garmo — orchestrated multiple
schemes, including the sports bribery scheme involving Johnson, Brown and Dowdy.

Brown coached at USD the same year Dowdy played there.

Johnson, 24, was arrested Saturday in Texas and was expected to be arraigned today.

The indictment accuses the group of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, running an
illegal sports bookmaking operation and distributing marijuana.

According to the indictment, Johnson — while he was the starting point guard for USD
— took a bribe to influence the result of a game in February 2010. Duffy would not be
specific on which game was involved.

According to the indictment, Johnson — after he was gone from USD in January 2011
— solicited an individual to affect the outcome of USD basketball games.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter said the investigation, dubbed “Operation
Hookshot,” began more than a year ago and started out as a drug probe.

Slotter said he didn’t know how many basketball games were affected by the illegal
bookmaking activity.

“If games are thrown by a small number of greedy individuals who are only hoping to
line their own pockets, the entire industry can suffer if the populace believes games are
fixed,” Slotter said.
Blog posts re coaches
Coach James Ted Carter
Shinoff cases
Injured players: Scotty Eveland
v. San Marcos
Youth Football Coach Injured In Beating Talks To
Mark Cannon, 32, Beaten After Football Game At Lincoln High School
April 24, 2011

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- An injured youth football coach spoke for the first time to 10News
on Saturday about the beating that brought his life to a complete stop.

"I have some serious brain injuries. I'm still learning how to walk again. [There's] fluid
coming out my brain through my ear. I'm deaf in my right ear. I lost my sense of smell
and sense of taste," said 32-year-old youth football coach Mark Cannon.

Cannon said it's been two weeks since he took a beating from another coach
that almost killed him.

"I was gone," said Cannon. "My grandfather – who passed away in 1995 – I actually
[saw] him and he brought me back. He told me he was not ready for me and that's when
I woke up and the ambulance was there."

Cannon said it started after he complimented a player on the opposing team who
reminded him of himself as a kid.

"I compliment any kid. You don't have to play for me for me to compliment you," he said.

Cannon said the opposing coach, 32-year-old Saivaauli Savaiinea, thought Cannon was
trying to recruit the player for his own team and beat him in front of children at Lincoln
High School.

Police said Savaiinea threw the first punch but the district attorney's office has yet to
charge him.

In the meantime, Cannon's medical bills are now more than $200,000. A fundraiser was
held on Saturday in Chula Vista to help with those bills.
Washington Post
By Amy Dickinson
July 29, 2011


I have recently finished
my third year as a
volunteer coach for a
team on which my
daughter has also been

In one of the last
games of this season, I
made a decision to call
a certain play and it
The result was
that it knocked us out of
the tournament and the
season was essentially

It was a close game and
the decision was risky,
but I felt it was the right
decision given the
After the
game was over, some
of the parents were
verbally berating me
and my decision in
front of the team. I
didn’t respond but
rather lined the girls
up for the handshake.

When I encountered
the parents the next
day, some would not
talk to me and a
couple even turned
their heads or
physically walked away
when I approached.
until this decision, I had
received a lot of
encouragement and
praise from all of the

I thought they were
friends and we were
common in our goals of
success, but I question
that now. Any
suggestions on how I
should handle this?

-- Struck Out


You have behaved
appropriately. You took
responsibility for the
coaching call you made
and stood by your
decision to make it.

You modeled good
sportsmanship by holding
your head up and lining
the girls up for their

The parents who berated
you on the field have
behaved abominably.
Their children will learn
the worst lesson from
sports: that winning is
more important than
playing, and that
mistakes (from coaches
or players) are
Moral responsibility: Would a woman have handled the
Penn State child abuse allegations differently?
by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso
November 9, 2011

I keep trying to find the right words to write about the alleged child abuse by the former
Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. I have just been sick about it
for days and keep writing draft and draft not expressing exactly what I want to say. But I
feel like we should discuss it.

Michael and I lived in the Happy Valley for two years after we first were married. I worked
for the local newspaper there as a reporter and an editor. Michael covered central
Pennsylvania, including Penn State football, for the AP. We met Joe Paterno on many
occasions. I personally talked with him multiple times at university dinners and cocktail
parties. He was sweet and very much like a grandfather.  I think because I have met
many of the people involved in this case, it is even more
shocking to me that they
didn’t do more to stop this alleged abuse.

A lot is being written about the moral responsibility of Paterno and the other leaders of
Penn State. I think the Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said it
best on Monday. While he agrees that Joe Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when
he relayed to university administrators that
graduate assistant Mike McQueary had
seen Sandusky attacking a young boy in the team’s locker room shower in
2002, the commissioner also questioned whether Paterno had a moral
responsibility to do more.

“Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a
human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child,” Noonan said.

“I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you’re a football coach or
a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral
responsibility to call us.”

I think we all have a moral responsibility to watch out for the children around us – in our
neighborhoods, in our schools, in our churches. We can’t turn our heads and hope the
system handles it.

We need to use our intuition. (One administrator at a school had a bad feeling about
Sandusky and told him he couldn’t come back to his school.) We need to be observant.
We need to ask questions. We need to step in if we see something, and we need to
shout loudly if we think something even seems wrong.

I am struck by the similarities between the Penn State case and the Catholic
Church child abuse scandals. These are well-respected men.
They are men
reporting to other men. You don’t hear any women’s names mentioned in the chain of

Would a woman have made different decisions?
Would a woman have called the
police? Would a woman have immediately broken up what McQueary reportedly
testified he saw happening in the locker room shower – the alleged rape of a
10-year-old boy?

I believe almost any woman would have immediately marched into that shower
and stopped it – even if it was her boss, her father, or someone she respected
or someone she feared.

I’m not trying to slam all men, and I think many men would have also handled things
differently. However, many men were involved and none called the police.
Joe Paterno seems to feel sorry for himself and his Penn State football team,
rather than feeling any remorse for allowing a serial rapist to continue to prowl.

Paterno stunned by firing in Penn State scandal
November 10, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Joe Paterno was stunned that Penn State's Board of Trustees
fired him Wednesday night amid a child sex-abuse scandal involving his one-time heir
apparent, a source close to the outgoing football coach told CBS News chief
investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.

The winningest coach in major college football history found out about his termination
from a letter hand-delivered by a university employee about 15 minutes before the
trustees publicly announced their decision in a press conference, the source said.

"You give your life to this place, and that's how you're treated," the source said.

Paterno's termination sent angry students into the streets where they shouted
support for their coach and tipped over a news van.

"Right now, I'm not the football coach. And I've got to get used to that. After 61 years,
I've got to get used to it," the 84-year-old Paterno said, speaking outside his house. "Let
me think it through."

Paterno had earlier in the day announced his intention to retire at the end of the
season, his 46th.  It didn't matter...

Also relieved of duty was Penn State president Graham Spanier. Both were ousted by a
board of trustees fed up with the damage being done to the university's reputation by
the alleged abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

As word of the firings spread, thousands of students flocked to the administration
building, shouting, "We want Joe back!" and "One more game!" They then headed
downtown to Beaver Avenue, where about 100 police wearing helmets and carrying
pepper spray were on standby. Witnesses said some rocks and bottles were thrown, a
lamppost was toppled and a news van was knocked over, its windows kicked out.

State College police said early Thursday they were still gathering information on any
possible arrests.

The decisions to oust Paterno and Spanier were unanimous, Surma said. Defensive
coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach, and the university scheduled a
news conference with him for Thursday morning. Penn State hosts Nebraska on
Saturday in the final home game of the season, a day usually set aside to honor seniors
on the team.

Provost Rodney Erickson will be the interim school president.

Paterno had come under increasing criticism — including from within the community
known as Happy Valley — for not doing more to stop Sandusky, who has been charged
with molesting eight boys over 15 years. Some of the assaults took place at the Penn
State football complex, including a 2002 incident witnessed by then-graduate assistant
and current assistant coach Mike McQueary.

McQueary went to Paterno and reported seeing Sandusky assaulting a young boy in the
Penn State showers. Paterno notified the athletic director, Tim Curley, and a vice
president, Gary Schultz, who in turn notified Spanier. Curley and Schultz have been
charged with failing to report the incident to authorities, and Pennsylvania Attorney
General Linda Kelly earlier this week refused to rule out charges against Spanier.

Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, but the state police commissioner
called his failure to contact police himself a lapse in "moral responsibility."

Paterno said in his statement earlier Wednesday that he was "absolutely devastated" by
the abuse case.

"This is a tragedy," Paterno said. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the
benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

[Maura Larkins comment: Tragedy for whom, Joe?  You didn't seem to think that a
child being raped was a tragedy.  You give the impression that you wish you had
done more so that you and your school would not be in upheaval now, not because
many children could have been saved from sexual assault if you had called the

See more on arrests of other Penn State officials in this case.

Craig BELL,
Plaintiff and Respondent,
DISTRICT et al., Defendants and

No. D033824.
Court of Appeal, Fourth District,
Division 1, California
-- June 27, 2000

 Stutz, Gallagher, Artiano,
Shinoff & Holtz, Daniel R.
Shinoff, Jack M. Sleeth, Jr., San
Diego, and Paul V. Carelli IV, for
Defendants and Appellants.

Robert P. Ottilie, San Diego, for
Plaintiff and Respondent.

Vista Unified School District
Rancho Buena Vista High School (RBV)
Principal Alan Johnson, RBV Athletic
Director Ric  Bethel, and Associate
Superintendent Peter McHugh
(collectively VUSD)
appeal a
judgment mandating it to nullify
its termination of RBV football
coach Craig Bell, because of a
notice violation of the Ralph M.
Brown Act
(Gov. Code, § 54950
et seq.
; 1  the Brown Act), and awarding
him $157,674 in attorney fees and costs.'


By the Fall 1997, Bell had been a VUSD
employee for 13 years and the only
football coach in RBV's 11-year history.  
As a tenured instructor, his coaching
assignment was separate and renewed
annually each fiscal year.   That
assignment had been renewed on July
1, 1997, and was to expire on June 30,

In the spring 1997, Robert Ryan,
father of Australian high school
student John, asked Bell to
help arrange his son's transfer
to Vista to attend school and
play American football.  
advised Ryan he had a “no cut” policy,
but any decision regarding eligibility
would be made by the California
Interscholastic Federation (CIF), a
voluntary association which governs
eligibility for interscholastic
competition.   Bell immediately reported
Ryan's telephone call to Athletic Director
Bethel and directed Ryan to the
counseling office for processing the
transfer.   Ryan later asked Bell to obtain
a visa for John to enter the United States,
an Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) form I-20.   In turn, Bell
contacted Bethel and VUSD Associate
Superintendent Peter McHugh who told
him VUSD did not provide the form;  
made inquiries on Bell's behalf;  and
later advised him where he could obtain
it.   A third party obtained the form and
Bell had a Vista counselor, Frank Donez,
sign it.   Bell's assistant coach offered to
take John into his home for the year at a
minimal cost.

 After John's arrival and
registration, RBV Principal
Johnson wrote the CIF
requesting his athletic
eligibility.   CIF Commissioner
Jan Jessop met with John.  
Upon learning his age, his prior
education and Bell's
involvement in his transfer, on
September 9 Jessop denied
the request for eligibility on the
grounds he was a “fifth year”
senior and a transfer student.

...On October 2, she further
ruled Bell had violated CIF's
undue influence rule, John was
ineligible for one year, and RBV
was placed on one-year athletic
probation with the suggestion
VUSD consider disciplinary
action against involved

John appealed the decision to
the CIF Appellate Panel, which
following hearings on October
13, upheld the undue influence
ruling, but reduced his
ineligibility to 13 days.  
panel placed the school's
entire athletic program on
probation for one year,
suspended its membership in
the CIF for the year, and
ordered VUSD to review the
matter and take whatever
action it deemed appropriate
regarding Bell.   On October
16, the VUSD Board of Trustees
(the Board) held a special
closed session Board meeting
to consider action to take in
response to the CIF probation.  
...The court further found VUSD
neither cured nor corrected its
failure to provide Bell notice of
a meeting to discuss his
termination as football coach or
his right to request an open

The court then ruled that pursuant to
section 54960.1, subdivision (a),

mandamus was a proper remedy to
declare the action taken at the October
16 meeting was null and void.   The
court directed VUSD to nullify its prior
decision terminating Bell as RBV head
football coach,
remove any mention of
termination from his personnel file, not
communicate in the future he was ever
terminated, and permanently enjoined
VUSD, its agents and employees from
attempting to enforce the October 16
termination decision.  

Finally, the court concluded that Bell
had timely requested VUSD to cure or
correct the statutorily deficient notice
and that his filing suit before the
expiration of the 30-day period to
correct a Brown Act violation was not
prejudicial and did not bar his
mandamus action.

The court ruled Bell was entitled to
reasonable attorney fees and costs
under section 54960.5, subject to a cost
memorandum and motion for attorney
fees.   The matter was then heard on
June 19, after  which the court took the
matter under submission and confirmed
its telephonic ruling with slight
modification.   Judgment was filed on
August 14, incorporating an award for
attorney fees and costs in the sum of
$157,674.81 (costs of $9,812.81 and
fees of $147,862.00).   VUSD appealed,
but the appeal was dismissed without
prejudice for violating the one final
judgment rule.   The remaining tort
actions went to trial in March 1999, but
the parties resolved them before its
completion.   VUSD paid Bell $125,000
and gave him a paid leave of absence
during the second semester of the
1999/2000 school year to settle his
remaining claims.   VUSD then timely
noticed this appeal on June 22.


 VUSD contends the closed
meeting did not violate the Brown
Act because Bell was only entitled
to a 24-hour written notice of the
meeting under section 54957 if the
Board intended to consider
complaints or charges brought
against him by another person or
employee.   Here, VUSD asserts
the Board did not do so, but rather
it met to consider whether to
discipline an employee after an
adverse finding or decision by a
separate administrative body (CIF)
and that action did not constitute a
complaint or charge under the
Brown Act.   Bell responds that
when Superintendent Gary Olson
and McHugh, who also served as
CIF board chair, presented the
CIF's finding of undue influence as
a basis for disciplining Bell to the
Board it evolved into a charge or
complaint presented by a fellow
employee or another person,
requiring notice of the meeting
under section 54957.   As we shall
explain, we agree.

 The Brown Act's requirement
that public meetings be open
ensures the public's right to attend
meetings of local legislative bodies,
subject to statutory exceptions.  
(Freedom Newspapers, Inc. v.
Orange County Employees
Retirement System (1993) 6 Cal.
4th 821, 825, 25 Cal.Rptr.2d 148,
863 P.2d 218;  Fischer v. Los
Angeles Unified School Dist. (1999)
70 Cal.App.4th 87, 95, 82 Cal.Rptr.
2d 452.)   It established the
governing mandate that “meetings
of the legislative body of a local
agency shall be open and public,
and all persons shall be permitted
to attend any meeting of the
legislative body of the local
agency, except as otherwise
provided in this chapter.” (§ 
54953, subd. (a).)  The Brown Act
was designed to facilitate public
participation in local governmental
decisions and to curb misuse of the
democratic process by secret
legislation.  (Boyle v. City of
Redondo Beach (1999) 70 Cal.App.
4th 1109, 1116, 83 Cal.Rptr.2d
164;  Fischer v. Los Angeles
Unified School Dist., supra, 70 Cal.
App.4th at p. 95, 82 Cal.Rptr.2d

...Even if Bell conferred a
significant benefit on the general
public by protecting its interest in
having access to VUSD meetings,
reaffirming procedural due process
protections, exposing serious
problems at RBV and protecting
the rights of his fellow employees,
the primary focus of his litigation
was personal, that is his
reinstatement and quest for
compensatory damages.   In this
context, the Brown Act violation
was simply incidental to his
personal and pecuniary interests in
the matter.   To render
apportionment moot, he must
establish the cost of his victory
transcended his personal interests
such that the necessity for
pursuing the lawsuit placed a
burden on him out of proportion to
his individual stake in the matter.  
However, he was statutorily entitled
to attorney fees and costs arising
from the Brown Act violation under
section 54960.5.   He had a
financial incentive in bringing the
lawsuit.   His litigation goal was
always to obtain reinstatement and
compensatory damages.   He
accomplished that goal by being
reinstated, having the discipline
rescinded and later recovering
more than $125,000 in
settlement.   Consequently, this is
not a case where Bell has shown
his expenses in bringing the suit
are disproportionate to his
personal stake in the outcome of
litigation, but rather one where the
enforcement of the public interest
is merely incidental to the obtaining
of personal goals.  (See California
Common Cause v. Duffy (1987)
200 Cal.App.3d 730, 750-751, 246
Cal.Rptr. 285.) 7

 Finally, VUSD challenges the trial
court's award of costs, asserting
that approximately $4,200 of them
are either explicitly or impliedly
prohibited by Code of Civil
Procedure section 1033.5 (i.e.,
photocopy, postage, telephone,
facsimile and “attorney services”
charges).   Additionally, it
challenges the costs incurred for
depositions of persons unrelated to
the Brown Act issue.   Where a
statute authorizes an award of fees
and costs, but is silent as to which
costs are to be awarded, Code of
Civil Procedure section 1033.5
provides the courts with guidance
as to those costs that may or may
not be recovered in a civil action.  
(See Davis v. KGO-T.V., Inc.
(1998) 17 Cal.4th  436, 441-445,
71 Cal.Rptr.2d 452, 950 P.2d 567;  
Page v. Something Weird Video (C.
D.Cal.1996) 960 F.Supp. 1438,
1447.)   Bell has not offered any
reason nor can we perceive of one
why that statutory guidance should
not govern here under the
circumstances.   Accordingly, on
remand, the trial court is directed
to award only allowable costs after
reasonable apportionment.  (See e.
g., Ladas v. Cal. State Auto. Assn.
(1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 761, 773-
775, 23 Cal.Rptr.2d 810.) 8


The judgment is reversed as to the
attorney fees and costs award and
the matter is remanded to the trial
court to recalculate the award
following reasonable
apportionment consistent with this
opinion.   In all other respects, the
judgment is affirmed.   Each party
to bear their own costs on appeal.
Vista Unified violated Brown Act when it failed to give
notice that it wanted to fire a coach
Family Claims Football
Coach Injured Boy
By Diana Guevara
NBC 7 San Diego
Oct 4, 2012

A mother has filed a
restraining order against
a youth football coach
after she claims her son
was injured by him.
Tamara Hansel’s 10-year-
old son began playing
with the San Marcos Pop
Warner Football League
last month. She claims
when the boys began
misbehaving, Coach Greg
Stephens singled her son
out and caused assault
injuries to her boy.

“When he got to our son
he grabbed him by the
front of his chest plate,
dug his fingers into his
neck and shook him front
to back side to side very
roughly,” Hansel said.
“Which left my son with
whiplash and a
concussion. He's actually
been out of sports now for
three weeks.”

Hansel and her husband
took their son to the
hospital after he began
vomiting, she said. Then
they called the police and
on Sept. 14 they filed a
restraining order.
Hansel said her husband,
Dan Hoffman, argued with
the coach just days
before the incident,
saying that he was
punishing his son too
hard by making him run
too many laps in the heat.
“He has specifically said I
will punish your son for
your actions he was
speaking to my husband,”
she said. “Then this
happened the following

NBC 7 San Diego tried to
reach Stephens, who is
also the current president
of the Pop Warner
Football League, but he
has not returned any
phone calls.

Court documents show his
response to the
allegations, where he
defends his coaching.
"I don't find either one of
these activities to be
punishing as football
requires running, strength
and mental awareness,”
court documents state. “I
am not a coach who
strives on punishment.”
Hansel says her son has
since been switched to
another football team
within Pop Warner and
that they still come in
contact with Stephens.
She said Stephens has to
remain at least 25 feet
away from her and her

There are no criminal
charges pending at this

Follow NBC 7 for the
latest news, weather, and
Ky coach
indicted in
player's death
talks of loss
Jan 24 09

A Kentucky high school
football coach charged in
the death of a player who
collapsed at practice says
he is heartbroken and
that part of his life has
been taken away.
"The one thing people
can't forget in this whole
situation is that I lost one
of my boys that day. A
boy that I loved and a boy
that I cared for and a boy
that meant the world to
me," coach David Jason
Stinson told dozens of
supporters at his home
Saturday night. "That's
the thing that people
forget and don't ever
forget that. That's a
burden I will carry with me
for the rest of my life."
It was his first public
remarks since he was
charged with reckless
homicide Thursday in the
death of 15-year-old Max
Gilpin, a sophomore
offensive lineman who
died three days after
collapsing during a
sweltering practice in Aug.
Heat exposure deaths
have occurred
occasionally in all levels
of football and the cases
have led to numerous
lawsuits. However, it
appears a coach has
never been criminally
charged in the deaths.
Stinson's attorney has
said the coach is
innocent. But Stinson,
who spent his first three
years at Pleasure Ridge
Park as an assistant
before taking over last
season, wasn't talking
about the charge
"Part of my life's been
taken away," he said. "I
no longer teach. I no
longer coach."
A school spokeswoman
said he has been
reassigned pending the
outcome of the case.
Stinson is expected to be
arraigned Monday.
Some of Stinson's
supporters held up signs.
Others left notes. Some
shared prayers and
memories of the coach.
Many of them were
students, and they
clapped and cheered "we
want Stinson," urging the
coach to come outside of
his home and address
"Every morning he would
come in, he just had this
glow about him," Ariel
Whitaker, who had
Stinson for two Web
design classes, told The
Courier-Journal of
Louisville. "He could make
anyone smile."
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Unrestrained hostility?
Gee hired as WVA interim president; retired from Ohio State
after remarks about Catholics, SEC
December 06, 2013
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  Gordon Gee is returning to West Virginia University as
interim president, five months after retiring from Ohio State University after remarks he
made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved Gee's hiring Friday,
a day after the WVU Board of Governors made its recommendation without
announcing a name.

Gee's stay is expected to be temporary and his annual salary was set at $450,000.
Former President Jim Clements accepted the same position at Clemson University in

It marks the seventh time Gee, 69, has headed a major U.S. university, including two
stints apiece at West Virginia and Ohio State.

WVU board chairman James Dailey said in a statement he's thrilled with Gee's

"He is a seasoned and respected higher education leader who has served five major
universities over 33 years, and I am confident he will continue the great work going on
here and the momentum this University is enjoying," Dailey said.

Gee, is expected to visit the Morgantown campus Tuesday.

"I am delighted now to be able to come back — and give back — to the West Virginia
University community while also continuing my commitments to Ohio State, as well as
higher education in Ohio and nationally," Gee said in a statement issued by WVU.

Gee has stumbled through a series of verbal missteps for which he had to issue
apologies. He retired in July after his remarks jabbed at Roman Catholics and criticized
Notre Dame and former Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema, who now coaches

In those remarks, made a year ago Thursday to Ohio State's Athletic Council, Gee
said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten because the school's religious
leaders are not "good partners."

A Mormon, Gee also jokingly referred to "those damn
Catholics," lampooned the academic integrity of the
University of Louisville and Southeastern Conference
schools, singling out the University of Kentucky. He alleged
that University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
considered Bielema a "thug." Gee also made mildly
disparaging remarks about Alvarez and Big Ten
Commissioner Jim Delany.

Gee also laughingly suggested that someone would have to
"shoot" Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith before Smith
would allow the University of Cincinnati to join the Big Ten.

This wasn't the first case of Gee speaking out of turn, and it was his penchant for
inappropriate remarks that led to Ohio State trustees warning him in March of this year
that any additional missteps would lead to his termination.

In March 2010, as a memorabilia-for-cash and tattoos scandal involving then-football
coach Jim Tressel heated up, Gee jokingly said that rather than consider firing
Tressel, he was concerned that the popular coach "doesn't dismiss me."

Later that year, Gee compared the schedules of other major college football rivals to
playing the "Little Sisters of the Poor." And last year Gee compared the challenges of
leading a large university to the "Polish Army." He issued apologies for both those

Gee, who had remained at Ohio State as a law professor after his retirement, will take
an unpaid leave of absence while serving at WVU.

Gee was WVU's law school dean from 1979 to 1981 and served as university
president from 1981 to 1985. He also served as the president of Brown University and
the University of Colorado, chancellor of Vanderbilt University and on the board of
directors at Massey Energy.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he's "confident Gee will provide the leadership skills
necessary to maintain the University's positive momentum."


Associated Press Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this
High school players who attacked official say coach told
them to do it
Mike Florio
September 18, 2015

From the moment I first saw the video of a pair of high school players blindsiding a
game official, I suspected that the players were told to do what they did by a coach.

They now claim that they were.

Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas said that
assistant coach Mack Breed provided the sweep-the-leg-style directive.

“You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who’s been there for
me. . . . I trust him. I did what I was told,” Moreno said.

The official alleged missed calls and used racial slurs during the game. The official,
Robert Watts, has denied using racial slurs through his lawyer.

“You need to hit the ref. He needs to pay the price,” Breed said, according to Moreno.

Breed is on paid leave, and he has not publicly commented on the situation.

No one has been arrested or charged with a crime,