It’s been almost two months since Temple City football coach Randy Backus was put on paid administrative leave.
Since then, I’ve called Temple City High School almost on a weekly basis with little information to no information on what the school board’s decision is regarding the matter.
I put in a call to Temple City athletic director John Van De Veere on Wednesday and it sounds like the school board and the school will come to a decision by Friday (Van De Veere has agreed to call me then when a decision has been made).
As far as his job as an English teacher, Backus has long since long been reinstated. Whether he continues as football coach or not is what’s up in the air.
When asked about the progress Van De Veere elaborated a bit.
There’s really nothing I can tell you definitely. I know you want to print something but all I can tell you is we’re still going through a process of talking to him. (School) administrators are still talking to him. At this time no (decision has been made).
Van De Veere was asked when a decision would be made.
I would say at the end of this week we should come to a conclusion. That would probably be when the decision is made. On going negotiations coming ahead of Friday, at least I hope it does, If he’s going to return.
Van De Veere was asked whether this puts the him and the athletic program in some strain given the timetable of having to fill the position.
For me it’s a little bit late as we speak. You know how that goes. I’m a little concerned about the time table. We have a policy in our district that we need to fly the job in-house for two weeks before we can open it up outside. I cannot put it up on the CIF website until we float it here for two weeks. As of right now I don’t foresee anybody (in-house) that would be interested in the job.
Should the position open up, Van De Veere was asked whether the job would come with a teaching position at Temple City High.
That’s up in the air, too. I am really trying to get someone on campus. We want to get a teaching job for that individual. But what makes that very tough is we don’t know if the individual would have credentials. That’s part of the interview process.
Asked about Backus’ teaching position, Van De Veere was quick and to the point.
This decision has nothing to do with his teaching position. He’s an English teacher here on campus.
Now we wait.
I’ve talked to numerous coaches in the area about Backus. They all had nothing but good things to say about him. They all wish he’d return. Heck, the players and coaches on the staff I’m sure feel the same way. The feeling here is none of the assistants will stay on board should Backus be asked to resign. If Backus’ alleged incident was so terrible the school board and administration would have come to a conclusion much sooner than where they currently stand. We’re not that far away from spring ball. Would it really be wise to rid Backus and bring someone new who has no idea about the nucleus the Rams have developed over the last two months that led to a semifinals appearance in the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division playoffs? With the core of players expected to return, it would not serve them nor the program to bring someone new to learn on the fly. Remember, nobody on the current coaching staff works on campus, only Backus. The school board and administration have punished Backus enough by making him wonder whether he’ll return or not. Given the harsh economy I’m certain losing an extra pay check would hurt us all. Does 14 years of loyalty to the school count for anything anymore? While Backus battled sleepless nights the school board has taken its sweet time and slept on this much too long for a father with a newborn to endure. That’s punishment enough.