Saturday, September 11, 2010

Suspended Garinger football coach won't return

Speaking for the first time since being suspended last month, former Garinger football coach Terry Liggin said he was not going to try to get his job back and will seek to continue his career at a new school.

Liggin, 30, was indefinitely suspended a few days before the start of the season while Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was doing an investigation. Assistant coach Lin Fisher took over the team and has led Garinger to a 1-2 record heading into today's game at Hough High (2-0).

Liggin said he was ultimately suspended a full year because he allowed a player to participate in a scrimmage before the player completed nine full days of practice, per state association rules. Liggin said he returned to campus as a teacher this week. Efforts to reach Garinger officials were unsuccessful.

Liggin said the player had an issue with medical records and was pulled from practice. The player was cleared, Liggin said, a few days before a planned scrimmage with another team.

"The player participated in that," Liggin said, "and I was notified by the trainer that he didn't have enough days and we pulled him. After the scrimmage, (Garinger athletics director Claire Gardin) informed me that it was a violation. From that, I received a suspension letter from school and they suspended me for 365 days from coaching football."

N.C. High School Athletic Association deputy commissioner Que Tucker said it was a CMS decision to suspend for 365 days. She said typically the association asks schools to file reports on these types of incidents and to let the NCHSAA know what their plans for punishment are.

If the NCHSAA feels the penalty is severe enough, Tucker said, it will usually stand by the local decision. In some cases, however, it might levy its own penalties. In this case, Tucker said, the association decided the CMS penalty was severe enough. The NCHSAA handbook calls for a $500 fine and a one-year probation for violation of the preseason conditioning rule. A second violation would bring another $500 fine plus a 365-day suspension.

Liggin was Garinger's 15th coach since 1975. He coached Garinger to a 2-9 record last season, when the Wildcats lost two games by a total of nine points and were close in two more. Those were significant upgrades for a program that has had four losing streaks of at least 18 games since 1989, including a 61-game on-field losing streak that ended in 2008.

Liggin said he was proud of the progress he made at Garinger. He said the school started a booster club, added a junior varsity football team and that the varsity team GPA jumped from 2.1 to 2.6 in the second semester of the 2009-10 school year. "We established an academic tutoring program, and Lin Fisher headed that up," Liggin said. "Even though I wasn't able to see the deal finished, I think they're headed in the right direction."

Liggin said he did not want to return as coach next season.

"There's no bad taste," he said. "It's just time to move on. Coach Fisher will lead them on to better things if he gets it full time. With me being out a year, it's time to explore some different options and spend time with my family. Hopefully somebody will give me another opportunity to coach."

CMS has removed two student-athletes this fall: two cheerleaders at Butler for residency violations. One was a junior varsity and one was a varsity member. They will both sit out for 365 days.


Anonymous said...

That’s Claire Gardins way of putting the children first. The Athletic Principle, Mr. Blair must have given Claire Gardin the approval for this severe penalty. Is this a situation of ask too many question regarding athletic funds coach and I will take you out? I wonder if the Athletic Director could give a full account of funds received from football gate money and how the funds were appropriated. The Booster Club is still waiting for that answer! The Athletic Director does not communicate with the Booster Club. How many times will the Athletic Director be allowed to misplace student paperwork right before a game and make them ineligible? Who lost the paperwork? Garinger official will not talk because its bigger then football it’s all about funds being misappropriated? Vicky said the Athletic Principle is responsible for the Athletic Director so maybe the two could give light on why they did this to the football coach. I did not have the opportunity to get to know him. I did see him coaching and from a mom eyes the kids really respected him and he returned that respect back to them. What message is the Athletic Principle sending to our youth today do anything wrong and we nail you to the cross.

Anonymous said...

He also ask the parents to hold the Athletic Director accountable for mishandling the paperwork via email, and 3 days later he was suspended meanwhile the children were waiting on the proper equipment from her the issue to the children. I think the fact that no one has ever made her accountable and it became personal. Is this is what we teach our children, that you can treat people wrong when you feel like you have problem with them or was this act of retaliation for not wanting the children to play.

Anonymous said...

What you’re saying is the Athletic Principal and the Athletic Director is misappropriated Athletic funds?

Anonymous said...

Now its time to get the Mallard Creek assistant who has been recruiting...He stilll is recruiting. ust watch and see where the Victory Christian QB (ineligible at Indy this year) ends up. A deal is already set for him to move to MC.

Anonymous said...

Coach Liggin cared first and foremost for the kids. This is a personal attack because he confronted the administration on their lack of communication. Coach Liggin established an off season weight training program, academic accountability, JV team, and relationships with his players. Garinger's team increased to about 70 players and we only lost ONE to academic ineligibility (he was going to be a 5th year season, not b/c of gpa) where last year we lost about 10 to gpa ineligibility alone. The AD and Athletic Principal did not have the funds to support a team of this size, I speculate because funds have been misused. The football program has only received footballs, and thigh pads since Coach Liggin has been there. The player in question participated in the warm up and in one drill, when at that time Coach Liggin was notified by the athletic trainer that the AD said the player didn't have 9 days. The player was immediately pulled from the field and did not participate in the scrimmage. This was self reported by the AD. Was there a rule violation, yes, punishable, yes, but the rule states it could have been punished with as little as a verbal warning. Sounds like Garinger saved themselves $500 by suspending the best thing thats happened to Garinger football in a long time! SMH!

Anonymous said...

Where are the funds? Coach Liggin hasn't had field paint since June because the AD and Athletic Principal say there's no money. The kids were practicing without lines on the field. Who can blame a coach for confronting administration on lack of communication. No money for field paint, somethings wrong...

Raymond Caldwell said...

Where indeed are the funds. The CO need to dig deeper into this story. Coach Liggin decided he didn't want to put up with the head games anymore. Follow the money, or lack thereof, and you will know your answer.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a freshman at the school, what message does this send my child. To she this lack of concern for the children. No shoulder pads available for him. I had to by his pads myself, (question) where is the money going? Who should be held accountable for that? Shouldn't the school provide shoulder pads for the kids?