Tahlequah Sequoyah dismisses 3, including football coach
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
1/24/13 at 2:34 PM
CORRECTION: A story in the Dec. 19 Tulsa World had incorrect information about the Tahlequah Sequoyah athletic department. The school's 2012 Class 5A slowpitch softball title was reinstated. This story has been corrected.
Tahlequah Sequoyah has dismissed head football coach Brent Scott and two administrators, apparently over athletic department difficulties that saw the school vacate nine football wins in 2012.
Scott and former athletic director Larry Grigg told the Tulsa World that they received their termination letters from the school last week.
Dale Miller, who shared some AD duties with Grigg, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. But the Cherokee Nation confirmed that all three men are on administrative leave.
"No further details can be discussed because it is a personnel issue," Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Amanda Clinton said. The Cherokee Nation administers the school.
Superintendent Leroy Qualls was away from his office Tuesday and unavailable for comment, Clinton said.
Both Grigg and Scott said they were looking for new jobs.
Sequoyah forfeited nine football wins and its spot in the Class 3A football playoffs when 12 players were suspended over attending summer camps paid for by the school in violation of an Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rule.
The school vacated its 2012 Class 5A state title in girls softball for using an ineligible player after the OSSAA denied Kelsey Leach's retroactive hardship eligibility appeal in September.
The softball title was reinstated by the OSSAA in November after it received new information. But the association recommended Grigg be suspended from his duties as Sequoyah athletic director in November because of "a failure of institutional controls and several violations of it."
Grigg said he bore responsibility as athletic director for failing to see the proper paperwork was filed in the case of Leach and other Sequoyah athletes.
Scott, who helmed the football program for nine seasons, said he only did what previous Sequoyah administrators told him to do in sending athletes to camp at school expense.
"That's the way it's always been done here, and nobody questioned that," he said.
Qualls and Marcus Crittenden are in their first year as superintendent and athletic director, respectively.
The OSSAA didn't agree with Scott. He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 23 - one day after the school acknowledged that eight players had been suspended. Eventually, 12 football players lost their eligibility.
The suspended players won an injunction allowing them to play their final two regular-season games. But on Nov. 2, the OSSAA issued playoff pairings excluding the Indians. A few days later, the school announced it was forfeiting its nine regular-season wins.
On Nov. 7, the OSSAA board reinstated athletic eligibility to all but senior quarterback Brayden Scott (son of the head coach), enabling them to compete in the winter and spring sports.
The board also recommended that Scott be suspended from coaching at any OSSAA institution for a year, and deemed Grigg suspended until reinstated by the board.
Grigg and Miller have been on administrative leave since Nov. 6.
Scott said he has an appeal hearing before the board in its January meeting and is seeking other jobs.
Not counting forfeits, Scott guided the Indians to a 78-23 record and four district titles over nine seasons at the helm.
"At the end of the day, I see more positive than negative in my nine years at the school," he said. "I got to coach my son and I worked with a lot of good coaches. We won a lot of games and we had a blast."
Grigg spent 15 years at the school, guiding the boys basketball team to a 3A state title in 2003 and runner-up finishes in 2005, 2007 and 2008. He also spent four years as girls head basketball coach and had been the head coach in slowpitch softball the past 13 years.
"The time of this (firing) isn't great, but I've had a great run," Grigg said. "I got to coach both my kids and go to the state tournament a number of times. I wish Sequoyah the best and the Cherokee Nation the best. I think I've still got some good coaching in me, if anybody needs that."
Original Print Headline: Sequoyah fires 3, including coach
Mike Brown 918-581-8390