LISBON - Lisbon parent Dan Hipple still has issues with his daughter's softball coach.
Hipple met with the board and the board's attorney in executive session during a special meeting called March 7 to also approve an unrelated vendor contract. The board's attorney said the executive session with Hipple was to discuss a complaint against an unnamed district employee.
Afterwards, Hipple contacted the newspaper and explained he was there to discuss high school softball coach Dave Crismon. Last year, Hipple filed a complaint last year with the Ohio High School Athletic Association after Crismon held a series of indoor practices in January and February 2010 for a non-school traveling team that included several players from his high school team. High school coaches who also coach non-school teams are allowed to do this, but only between June 1 and July 31.
OHSAA agreed this was a violation and ordered Crismon to have no contact with his high school team in January 2012, which indicates the organization considered this a minor violation since schools are prohibited from holding softball tryouts and practice before March.
Hipple's daughter played for Crismon last season on the school team but was not a member of the traveling team. Meanwhile, after reviewing the entire situation, the board renewed Crismon's coaching contract for the upcoming season.
Hipple said the main reason for the executive session was to request the board create a neutral panel to review Crismon's player decisions out of concern his daughter will be treated unfairly this upcoming season because of what has transpired.
"My basic concern was to see that an oversight panel was put in place to
prevent any discrimination" against my daughter, he said, adding the board did not appear to be interested in doing so.
School Superintendent Don Thompson declined comment on the situation or what was discussed in executive session.
Hipple is also upset because he said the softball players held organized practices on their own in the gym in January, which he claims is prohibited by OHSAA rules. Some of the assistant coaches were reportedly sitting in the stands. When told of the possible violations, he said school officials canceled the open-gym practices only to later reinstate them.
He is considering filing a complaint with OHSAA and he is also looking into whether Crismon, as the girl's varsity basketball coach, was allowed to actively coach the softball team during the week the two seasons overlapped. Hipple said OHSAA rules prohibit players from doing this, and he wonders if the same prohibition applies to coaches.