We now know that Hoover High School will be conducting a search for a new football coach, with Rush Propst stepping down when the Bucs are finished with the 2007 playoffs.
The Hoover School Board has approved an agreement that states, after the playoffs, Propst will be transferred to an administrative assistant job until his resignation takes effect August 31, 2008. His pay will remain at $100,678, and the school board agreed to give Propst a $120,000 annuity by August 31 and pay $21,000 to transfer credit for one year of service from the Georgia to the Alabama retirement system.
In speaking at last night's meeting, Propst admitted to an affair that had produced a child, although he said, "I don't admit wrongdoing inside the halls of Hoover High School."
The Propst story has drawn a variety of interesting responses:
Birmingham News sports columnist Kevin Scarbinsky said the move to oust Propst was best for Hoover. But he noted that, privately, Propst has been saying for months that he would not go quietly, that he would not "leave the building without trying to burn it down behind him." That seems to imply that Propst is aware of widespread wrongdoing, the kind that goes way beyond him. Will that wrongdoing surface publicly in the weeks ahead? Is Hoover essentially buying Rush Propst's silence?
One letter writer to the News says: "We don't allow coaches to pay for players in college so why should it be legal in high school? Rush (Propst) has been bringing in recruits from everywhere to win state titles. The man would sell his own mama to win at football."
My take? I don't think Rush Propst and Hoover are the only ones who might stretch ethical boundaries in an effort to win football games. I've noted on this blog previously that it appears my legal woes grew largely from the desire to win high-school football games.
The school in question is Briarwood Christian, currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 5A in Alabama. Sources have told me that officials with Briarwood took steps to instigate a real-estate transaction in late 1998 that helped them secure a championship-winning coach. Ironically, that transaction came just as Hoover was conducting its last head-coaching search, the one that ended with Rush Propst getting the job.
Are there connections between the two? Do the fine Christians at Briarwood care one iota that their actions apparently have caused an innocent couple to suffer terribly?
We will return to that story of football intrigue in a bit.