Foul Language Costs High School Baseball Coaches their Jobs

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

Suwannee County, FL -- May 9, 2012 --

The Suwannee High School baseball team is led by head coach Ronnie Gray and assistant coach Phillip Hurst.

The team made it to the regional quarter finals this season, but now the coaches' jobs are in jeopardy.

Suwannee County Schools superintendent, Jerry Scarborough, stood in front of a tough crowd Wednesday night to explain why he's asking the coaches to resign.

His reason: the constant use of profane language.

"I'm shocked, I'm still stunned, I kinda just don't believe it," said Will Shanahan, a junior and baseball player at Suwannee High.

Ronnie Gray's wife started the meeting with an emotional stance on her disappointment in the decision.

Scarborough answered her directly and told the crowd how he came to this conclusion.

"He pushes them to be their absolute best and he also cares about their families, he cares about their grades," Amy Gregory.

Those who stand firm for coach Gray say he's accomplished so much in his 11 years as head coach.

"We just removed our symbol and our icon over cursing and you know, it's shocking," Shanahan added.

Scarborough heard everything the crowd of more than 40 had to say.

But, he didn't hesitate in saying he's sticking with his decision to ask the coaches to resign.

Scarborough said he gave the coaches four warnings, but nothing in writing.

We asked him to speak with us after the meeting, but he left before commenting.

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  • by Mr umpire Location: Suwannee on Jun 4, 2012 at 05:21 PM
    I for one no what they are talking about. I was umpiring a babe Ruth game Ronnie gray was coaching in about 3 years Ago, where Ronnie gray was ejected for cursing on the field infrount of the kids. Also I will mention that the kids playing were only 9-10 year olds. When you have someone that will curse in frount of young kids and also his son, he would curse at the older kids for intimidation! I think Ronnie is one of the best coach around this area, but the mouth has to go! Thanks, Mr. Umpire
  • by Mr on May 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM
    You people on here are a joke, I played for Mike Pittman and he was a great coach. He did cuss at us some in practice but it was never in front of people to try and make you look bad, because after practice or the next day at school he made it a point to find you and put his arm around you boost your confidence tell you that he was proud of you and that he loved you. I always felt like Mike Pittman was another father for me. It never really stuck out cuss words that were said because he taught us so much during a practice. He and Coach Laxton were not the best of friends but respected each other because the knew their programs were right where they needed to be. But I will say to never put Ronnie Gray in the same class as Pittman or Laxton cause they got something Gray never brought to Suwannee County and thats RINGS!! It was always a running joke that Gray could win 20 games a year only to be bounced out of the first round playoffs time and time again. I understand kids wanting to play for a good coach but Ronnie Gray is no Saint. As far as football goes ask the past handfull of coaches to come and go what its like to try and fill the spot of a legend like Mike Pittman.
    • reply
      by And on May 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM in reply to Mr
      What did Pittman get for those rings? Statue? Field named after him? Sign with his name on it? Exactly everyones point Suwannee county is a joke for firing Ronnie gray for same reason it doesn't recognize the guy that has done more for shs than anyone!!! Suwannee county is a complete joke
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 06:18 PM in reply to Mr
      So, you mean this school had success in football and wrestling? You mean an ole country school was good in football? Like Madison, Union, Taylor, Mayo, Columbia etc...What is new or special about that??? You mean you could find some ole country boys to wrestle, haha...You're the joke and the problem around this place! Name me another country town that had the success in baseball this one did? Playoff wins, 20-win seasons, players in college, you didnt know what that was before he got here, easy to say that now. Did you think Suwannee County was going to win a baseball state title? Picture Hamilton, Madison, Columbia, Taylor, Lafayette, etc having this success. Maybe your getting the picture, or your a football guy, if you played for Mike then you remember how bad this baseball program was!!!!
      • reply
        by Mr on May 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM in reply to
        Incorrect, Wade Beale was a fantastic coach had players drafted sent some to college, they also played a lot better competition during that time as well.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 26, 2012 at 04:44 AM in reply to Mr
          Its obvious you were not a good player and know very little about athletics to make a statement like that. You've cleared up now you are not credible to make a statement.
  • by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 03:34 PM
    The three most controversial people in athletics at Suwannee HS, Mike Pittman, David Laxton, and Ronnie Gray. Hmmmmmmm, interesting!
  • by Robert Bass Location: Live Oak on May 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM
    I love how people love to talk about other peoples problems and yet choose to remain anonymous in their identity.
  • by anonymos Location: suwannee county on May 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM
    Your'e right about lost.....the things that were lost were morals, values and integrity.....
    • reply
      by Um ok on May 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM in reply to anonymos
      And I guess adultry by teacher is high morals? Or what about our very own super committing same thing while in clerk of court office? Yes high morals....a few cuss words are much worse
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 21, 2012 at 03:41 AM in reply to Um ok
        You have illustrated my point clearly ........which is that society has not only tolerated, but justified certain sin for so long that it is now accepted. I'm not from live oak and don't know any of these folks. Cussing at/in front of students, adultery and slanderous words are not acceptable,no matter who it is. When they are......morals,values and integrity are lost.
      • reply
        by In Prayer on May 21, 2012 at 07:55 AM in reply to Um ok
        Let us be reminded, that we are all human. Saying judgmental things is not pleasing in the sight of God. God does not find it pleasing to gossip about ones past sins nor pass judgment about sin. If the sinner has asked for forgiveness for their sin then we as Christians should support the person not gossip and destroy them further. Do you think these are the only sinners around? Are you free of sin? The Bible teaches about judging the sin not the sinner. The Bible also teaches about spreading gossip and making wrongs right. Is it just as sinful to spread gossip and slanderous remarks publicly about another person as it is to steal? Please be in prayer for each other and do what is pleasing to the Lord.
  • by Anonymous Location: suwannee county on May 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM
    You're right about lost.........but the things that have been lost are morals, values and integrity.....
  • by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 02:02 PM
    As this issue comes to a close let's close it on out with what anyone from LO is thinking. Everyone lost here, yes everyone lost! The coaches, the players, the parents, and the kids who were looking forward to playing in Ronnie Gray's program. Just kind of hard to get excited about playing for Terry Mixon, just not a lot there to get fired up about, or any of these guys left behind. There is not one baseball parent that didn't want their kid to play and be a star on a Ronnie Gray coached team, it meant the best!! Anyone that says otherwise is not telling the truth to themselves!!! The baseball program, the kids, etc, all lost for whatever reason and it all sounds nuts to me, bottom we all lost something special...I hate what went down, wish it could have been different, because it would have meant a lot more for all these kids. This situation benefits none of us who are parents of baseball players that wanted to play for a real baseball coach. Regardless of what side you are on, this is the guy we all wanted. I have to say that I have spoken to so many former players that say one good thing after another. Anyway guess it is time to move on, but we all lost out and for what I am still not sure, but the fact is we all lost!
    • reply
      by baseball mom on May 20, 2012 at 06:31 PM in reply to
      you are sadly absolutly correct. the ripple effect of this is well long reaching for years to come. the illustrious suwannee baseball team is no more by record reputation or otherwise. our team will be famous for oh the small ball program with all those winey parents. a awsome reputation ruined by 3 parents who think they know what we all want and what is best for other parents, the school, the kids now and the kids in the future. when people heard suwannee baseball team it commanded respect now all they do is laugh and take pity . so sad!!! do they even realize what they have done.... WE DID ALL LOSE HERE, EVERYONE. i hope their kids are playing as much as they can and in the positions the parents think they should. a true baseball player who does it for the love of the game will play anywhere they are put, they are just happy to be on the field playing. they know their job is to play...where ever the coach sees fit to put them. something maybe the parents should learn that
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM in reply to baseball mom
        suwannee baseball has never won anything big, what reputaion do they have
        • reply
          by Idiot on May 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM in reply to
          I guess beating number 5 team in nation and number 1 team in nation is nothing....what an idiot
  • by Bucko Location: Everywhere on May 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM
    Here we go again. Idiot parents putting winning over character. People who cannot show enough intelligence and self control to find words other than profanity don't belong working in the educational system. I don't care how many games they won, the potty mouths and their supporters are LOOSERS.
  • by Alan Clayton on May 18, 2012 at 09:47 AM
    4x1 challenge accepted
  • by Ron Hall on May 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM
    Not only was Alan Gibson a great baseball player, the kid could fly. I dare anyone on here to challenge him to the 4x1 relay. Make sure your people are there because you will get embarrassed, I dare you
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