Warren coaches face 1-week suspension

DOWNEY -- New procedures will be put in place and suspensions will be handed after Warren High School's football program accepted illegal stipends from its boosters club, Downey Unified School District superintendent Wendy Doty said today. Last week according to sources at the CIF Southern Section offices, Doty and CIF commissioner Dr. James Staunton discussed the Warren football staff receiving illegal stipends from the football booster club and what appropriate punishments will be handed out. The Downey Patriot first reported the illegal stipends on May 14. The meeting was quick and ended with the agreement that all coaches in the DUSD and booster club presidents for the individual sports, including marching bands, will have to sign a letter acknowledging that coaches are not to accept checks directly from booster clubs without punishment. Also in the letter, booster club presidents and coaches will be told that if money is to be handled between the programs and clubs, that the funds will have to be donated to ASB, who can then properly distribute the funds appropriately. Also, coaches who are hoping to maintain a position on the coaching staff at Warren with a new head coach coming in will be suspended one week during summer practices. According to CIF director of communications Thom Simmons, the new procedures and punishments were self-imposed. Doty said the new procedures will go into effect as soon as possible and that the problem has been resolved. "Never waste a crisis," she said. "We wanted to tighten up procedures to make sure it doesn't happen again." Doty said that she will soon talk to Warren principal John Harris and athletic director Steve Hill about the new procedures. No booster club members or any coaches involved in the matter had been contacted as of Monday. The sanctions came in light of Warren's football booster club being disbanded by former head coach Chris Benadom back in January. Booster club members had then questioned the legality of the disbandment then told of illegal stipends of $22,500 paid out to all coaches during the 2009-2010 season to the DUSD during an open board meeting.

NewsEric Pierce