Rickards Baseball Coach Suspended Following Argument

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Lamar Turner II watched Rickards baseball coach Brian Kelley groom his team while his son played for Kelly.

When he found out Kelley was suspended for one year following an argument with an umpire, he went to bat for his son's coach.

"I've coached for many years and knowing the character of the person they're attacking," said Turner. " I see it as him being attacked. I've seen fights, I've seen different situations and the punishment handed down was not nearly as severe as in this case."

The Florida High School Athletic Association suspended Kelley for what they say was level three unsportsmanlike conduct during the April 26 game against Madison County.

We received a statement from the FHSAA with the umpire's testimony saying Kelley used explicit words with him after being ejected from the game.

FHSAA says the year suspension was based on the fact it was considered a level three offense.

Monday, May 9, the association knocked off 10 months from the suspension bringing it down to two.

Kelley didn't want to go on camera but admits he was frustrated by his exchange with the umpire and says he should've stayed quiet.

Those who have played for him say the punishment was still too harsh.

"Other than his family that's what he does, he loves to coach and that's where he wants to be so I was kind of surprised to hear that," said Lamar Turner III who graduated from Rickards in 2010.

Adam Decker played for Kelley and now plays for FAMU.

"Coach was like a father to me when I was there," said Decker. "He helped me out with every aspect of life. Whether it was school or if I had a problem outside of the classroom. I know how much stuff he goes through to be a head coach at Rickards and the kind of stuff that Rickards in general has to face. It's a lot of different adversity and I don't think he deserves that much punishment or that lengthy of a suspension from coaching."

Kelley was named Coach of the Year in 2010 and Turner II says that shows his character.

Kelly can still teach during his suspension.

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