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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  • by J Timney Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 02:42 PM
    Coach Kelly is a good guy. The umpire needs to grow a set and man up to say the least!
  • by Madco Location: Madison on May 10, 2011 at 02:02 PM
    I am from Madison Co....this is insane.....he was thrown out of the game for arguing with the ump over a bad call.....the umps were terrible both ways....and actually they need to be suspended....get a grip FHSSA
  • by John W. Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    I grew up with Brian. We played on the same team and against each other. Regardless of what might have happened, he is a good person. Unfortunately, things happen and things are said that can't be taken back. I support your return to the field coach! JW
  • by bjs Location: southside of Tally on May 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    If you weren't at that specific game and did not hear what was said don't be judging the coach.
  • by baseballfan Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    Give the man a break! So he used explicit language. If you walk down the halls of the highschool you'll hear worse than that from the kids.
    • reply
      by TJ on May 10, 2011 at 11:38 AM in reply to baseballfan
      Because the adult coach and role model has higher expectations - it's really not that hard to act like a grown up.
      • reply
        by ntheknow on May 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM in reply to TJ
        Tell the umpire that instead of taking the game out of the hands of the coach and his players.
      • reply
        by George on May 10, 2011 at 12:47 PM in reply to TJ
        Coached for over forty years in public schools and had umpires/referees make some bad, stupid call and foolish interpretation of the rules. Not once did I feel the need to let my student-athletes see me lower my standards to using foul language in public. The FHSAA has a system for coaches to file their complaints and four out of five times they sided with me and reprimanded the officials. Not on judgment calls but on rule interpretations. It doesn’t matter what the kids say and do in the halls. The adult should be the leader and the adult.
  • by Baseball Fan Location: tally on May 10, 2011 at 07:41 AM
    I have watched many games over my years here in Tallahassee. I have seen this coach at times get mad and yell at umpires just to get his team fired up. Yes, at times, he has went over board. Coaches in Tallahassee get upset at umpires from City League to College. I have talked with many umps here in Tallahassee some of the better ones says that coaches take over their own fields, boss the umpires around.
  • by Responsibility Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 07:08 AM
    Bottom line is that no coach should get ejected. There is a policy/procedure to voice complaints about umpires/coaches/administrators..... Doing so on the field is not where you do that. Getting upset at someone and using choice language is not showing a good example to the kids. This is NOT major league baseball where coaches go out and throw a tantrum. If that is what you want to do, then you are coaching in the wrong league.
  • by I know Coach kelly Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 06:57 AM
    I have known coach now for over 15 years. I know he would not make it personal unless provoked. From what I am told, the plate umpire in this game was horrible at best. He took the Rickards baseball program to great heights and does an awesome job with these young men on and off the field. Every ejection deserves some penalty, and I think a year suspension is ridiculous unless there was physical contact. He should get a max suspension of 6 weeks. And even that is crazy for someone that rarely gets ejected.
  • by Former Rickards Baseball Parent Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    Brian Kelly is a man of great integrity and as stated earlier an outstanding role model. He honestly and truly loves his players. He teaches them the game with great pride and humility. If he became emotional, trust me it was only because something was done unfairly to his team. No other coach in Leon County has to endure the emotional trials and tribulations that Coach Kelly does with how his players live, let alone play. He is always there for them. I will always appreciate what he did for my son while he played for him. A great example of a man is one who defends and protects his family/players when they are being wronged. He not only cares about what they do on the field, he also cares about what they do in the classroom. If he didn't he wouldn't have former players playing college ball right now. Thanks Coach for leaving it on the field. This coach has players in college playing ball
  • by Former Coach Location: Tally on May 10, 2011 at 06:33 AM
    Being a former coach, I can see where bad calls would push someone over the edge. I'm curious to know what was actually said. I know that in the past, my teams have been given many a penalty and was never told what the penalty was for until I received another one for standing on the field waiting for an explanation.
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