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Negative balance leads to negative outcome for Wilkins

Friday, June 7, 2013 11:26 AM
Last updated Saturday, June 8, 2013 12:05 AM
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Three consecutive years of mishandling baseball concession stand funds are cited as the primary reason for the removal of Chris Wilkins as Greenbrier High School’s head baseball coach.

Wilkins  JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
Wilkins

In a letter obtained by The Columbia County News-Times, dated Thursday, June 6, Greenbrier Principal Chris Segraves documented a meeting with Wilkins on Monday, June 3, in which Segraves reiterated that Wilkins had been warned a year earlier about concession stand funds being out of balance.

“During our meeting I reminded you that we met last year on June 26, 2012, to discuss the fact that your baseball concession monies were in the red by $1,763.76,” Segraves wrote. “At the time, I was adamant that this should not happen again.

“I was also very clear that, should we have to revisit this again, your position as head coach of the varsity baseball program would be in jeopardy,” Segraves wrote.

When the 2013 season ended with a negative balance “in excess of $1,600,” Segraves met with Wilkins and removed him as head baseball coach.

Responding to questions regarding Wilkins’ firing, Segraves rejected suggestions that parental pressure, or rumors about players being hazed during initiation rituals, were a factor in his decision.

Segraves said the removal was not done in haste, and that there never were plans to dismiss Wilkins during the season.

The final letter detailing Wilkins’ removal was provided Friday after a request to Columbia County Human Resources Director Tony Wright.

Wilkins took over as head coach in 2009 and posted a 120-40 record in his five seasons, including back-to-back appearances in the state championship series in 2012 and 2013.

Attempts to reach Wilkins, who still has a position as a health and physical education and social studies teacher at the high school, were unsuccessful.

In the interim, assistant coaches David Barnes and Mark Turner will take charge of the school’s summer league and baseball camp.

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Riverman1
93721
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Riverman1 06/07/13 - 11:03 am
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0
With another recent coaching

With another recent coaching change in Columbia County, I think the new coach has already been decided. The new coach will be a coach from another school.

But this whole concession thing and booster baseball money has always been flaky over the entire county. Back when I was involved with HS baseball as a parent we could never keep things straight. I know I dang sure bought lots of stuff out of my own pocket as other parents did. It's just to hard to keep it all straight and do something with the perishable things at the end of the year. All the coaches I was associated with put a lot more into the till than they ever took out.

Sweet son
11649
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Sweet son 06/07/13 - 11:29 am
5
0
Why in the heck is the baseball coach managing the

concession stand money. A booster organization of some sort should be in charge and if money was made then the boosters should write checks for things afforded to the athletes. Also if coach can run a negative balance "who" made up the difference. I hope it was not we taxpayers. If the taxpayer cleaned his mess up then Mr. Rouch should do some investigative reporting on the Board's/Principal's handling of that situation. Where did the money come from?

karradur
2878
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karradur 06/07/13 - 11:45 am
5
2
I laughed at this.

"Attempts to reach Wilkins, who still has a position as a health and physical education and social studies teacher at the high school, were unsuccessful."

Could you imagine being a kid in one of his classes next year, if he isn't let go from his position entirely?

"Hey Mr. Wilkins, I want to dispute my D grade in the class."

"Why, Billy?"

"Well, you sort of have a track record for fudging numbers."

grovetownman
63
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grovetownman 06/07/13 - 12:42 pm
0
0
Why is the coach responsible
Unpublished

Why is the coach responsible for the "books"? Why aren't the boosters involved? Surely there is a treasurer? I would hope that this incident would lead to an investigation to ALL athletic teams and not just at GB.

As a side note: Why can't GB stay out of trouble? You have the soccer incident and now this stuff with baseball. Maybe it's time to start looking at leadership (principal and maybe the AD)

Little Lamb
49079
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Little Lamb 06/07/13 - 01:02 pm
2
1
Country Clubs

Golf pros at country clubs often have the same sweetheart deals. They are in charge of pro shop concessions (including vending machines all around the clubs) and can use it as a slush fund There are inevitably shortages, which club members make up the difference.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 06/07/13 - 01:11 pm
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No good deed goes unpunished.

No good deed goes unpunished. I feel ya Riverman1

Fiat_Lux
16440
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Fiat_Lux 06/07/13 - 01:25 pm
8
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This principal made his first mistake 2 years ago

Wilkins should not have been responsible for the concessions money after the very first time it came up short, period. And Wilkins should have refused to be involved with concession.

IMO, this rumpus makes out like it's a character issue when the far more likely reality is that it's the principal's problem, due to lack of organization, inappropriate delegation and inadequate supervision. His bad leadership put Wilkins in the position to lose his coaching job when it was not necessary.

Young Fred
21091
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Young Fred 06/07/13 - 02:01 pm
5
0
Let's get real here folks

As LL pointed out, all such funds are considered "slush" funds. It is wrong, it's messed up, and it's enough to tick the typical parent off.

It's also used as an convenient excuse. A "fail safe" if you will. Of course an honorable man or women wouldn't get caught up in such an obvious trap. But humans are humans - put an unguarded cookie jar in front of their face, and 85% of peeps are going to "get" a cookie without paying for it.

Cynical old woman
1111
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Cynical old woman 06/07/13 - 02:08 pm
2
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Riverman

The rumors have been flying since the other coach resigned. I'm anxious to see how it all shakes out!

lhsparent11
70
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lhsparent11 06/07/13 - 03:14 pm
3
0
Riverman & C.o.w.

I doubt it's going to happen, but I know lots of the LHS players would love to play against their former "coach" at greenbrier next year. That would make the rivalry even more interesting than normal!

Sweet son
11649
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Sweet son 06/08/13 - 11:29 am
3
0
Hey Barry, you have all of the Columbia County poop.

Where did the catch up money come from?

Riverman1
93721
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Riverman1 06/07/13 - 04:19 pm
5
0
Barry does not understand HS

Barry does not understand HS baseball like Riverman (and others), even though he is a knowledgeable and loved newspaper man.

itsanotherday1
48334
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itsanotherday1 06/08/13 - 07:19 am
2
0
Still, after all is said and

Still, after all is said and done, he was warned that the fund better not come up short again. I think I would have made darned sure it didn't; whether by arranging to get it out of my control, or making up the difference myself.

It is his own fault; I would have fired him too after repeated warnings.

Little Lamb
49079
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Little Lamb 06/08/13 - 07:44 am
1
0
Better Idea

The coaches have more important things to do than worry about concession stand workers skimming while the games are going on.

If I were a coach, I would shut down the concession stand and announce over the loudspeakers that from now on it's tailgating only.

puppydog
228
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puppydog 06/08/13 - 10:19 am
0
0
Columbia County administration not up front

Columbia county administration has a reputation for not being up front About situations. This letter from SeGraves is dated June 6, which is AFTER the fact. He wrote it AFTER he had fired the coach, & worded it to cover his behind after all the brouhaha came up over the firing. The coach said he has never touched any of the money & never has even been in the concession stand. I was on the Boosters Club at my sons Richmond County high school the past few years & we ran the concession stand, not the coach- that doesn't even make sense. This makes it sound like Wilkins stole the money, which is not the case. He may have been ultimately responsible for it ( which IS a flawed policy), but he never touched any of the money. He relied on others to handle it. Many of the baseball players on Chris's team have said that some of the Greenbrier baseball parents ruined the season for the whole team by complaining about their sons not getting enough playing time etc. Welcome to the real world , parents- the team wants to win & unfortunately, not everyone is as talented as others. That's how it operates in the real world & real jobs too, so you parents need to let your kids get used to the idea that there will always be competition for jobs, positions on sports teams etc. Not everyone is going to make it on the team, or get accepted to a particular school or program, or get a particular job. Columbia county education has a bad reputation for not standing up to the parents & letting the pushy parents run the show, & not standing up for their teachers & coaches. Too bad Coach Wilkins had to be the fall guy. It's not right that they are deceivingly making him look bad & giving some people the false impression that he is a thief. SeGraves after the fact letter is VERY deceptive & not above board. Written after the fact to CYA Mr SeGraves!

Sweet son
11649
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Sweet son 06/08/13 - 11:27 am
0
0
Great comment puppy dog!!!!

It is a very real world and the era of everyone receiving a trophy or award is not real! You did a fantastic job of using the sports to workplace analogy to indicate that all kids will not be superstars even though parents want to believe they are.

What a realistic analogy!!!

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