Muir A.D. Robert Galvan temporarily relieved of duties.


BREAKING NEWS: Gamal Smalley placed on administrative leave (Pasadena Star-News)

FULL STORY: Muir forfeits 20 games, will miss playoffs (Pasadena Star-News)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

Muir High School’s Robert Galvan has temporarily been relieved of his duties as athletic director pending an investigation into what led the boys basketball team to forfeit 20 games and miss the playoffs, district officials said Wednesday.

Pasadena Unified School District spokesman Adam Wolfson said the district will not issue a statement regarding Galvan. Charles Park, an assistant principal in charge of activities, will be the acting athletic director, Wolfson said.

“The hope is that once the investigation is completed into the forfeiting of the Muir basketball games, the district will issue a statement, barring litigation,” Wolfson said.

Muir was forced to forfeit the games because it failed to prove a valid change of address for a key player, thus eliminating the Mustangs from the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs.

Galvan’s reassignment comes a week after boys basketball coach Gamal Smalley was placed on administrative leave and instructed not to have any contact with players and team parents.

PUSD hired an independent investigator to look into the issues, and Smalley is expected to speak with an investigator later this week.

At the heart of the issue was whether Muir had evidence to prove that Andre Frazier, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, had a valid change of address upon his transfer last year from Fairfax. He initially went to Bellarmine Jefferson, transferred to University High School in Los Angelesand then to Fairfax before coming to Muir. He has since transferred back to Fairfax.
Galvan was in his first season as athletic director, and was the school’s third athletic director in four years. He will continue as a physical-education teacher and baseball coach.

Galvan did not return a message seeking comment.

The investigation is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, Wolfson said.

In addition to the forfeits, Muir missed its chance at an at-large berth after its application was submitted past the deadline set by the CIF-Southern Section. Paperwork was due no later than 11 p.m. on a Friday, but it wasn’t faxed until the next evening.

Muir made three tournament championship appearances, was ranked in the Top 50 in the state and was 24-2 at season’s end, poised to continue its dream season with a strong playoff push in the so-called “Super Division” in which the Mustangs were seeded fifth.

Muir was the only public school in the division’s final Top 10 poll, and it was expected to prove its worth against perennial powerhouses like La Verne Lutheran and L.A. Price, both private schools.

Principal Sheryl Orange has not made a public comment about the forfeits, and her only statement came in a release issued through the district after Muir was ruled ineligible for the playoffs.

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  • This school is a wreck. Pretty soon the whole place will be on leave.

  • bigfatfan

    A wreck indeed. I am sure that both the AD and the head coach knew this kid had issues with his transfer papers, yet they let him play. heck, he’d been with THREE schools prior to appearing at Muir with his basketball in hand. there was plenty of smoke, the Muir officials just chose to look the other way.

  • New York

    What’s the word on the football coach situation?

  • I hate to say it, but I told you. More will follow because again, the Principal, Head Coach of basketball and the AD ‘ALL” had to verify to CIF that the data in the transfer documents were truthful – or state why they could not confirm it. It is evident that one or more of the signatures that confirmed the data in the transfer document relied on the goodwill or “word” of the other i.e. The AD took Smalley’s word or both confirmed it to Ms. Orange, etc.

    The simple, regrettable truth is that none of them had reason to believe that the transfer, particularly of this student, was valid or should have known it was not valid. None of them did their due diligence. Hence everyone’s attempt, after the fact, to run around and establish facts i.e., truancy officers to the students home, etc. I speak from personal experience – this is not just conjecture on my part.

    I can’t blame the AD or the Principal more than I take issue with Mr. Smalley. As a former AD himself and head coach at another school, he never – ever, should have allowed this kid – who attended a different school every year – on the basketball court UNTIL CIF granted expressed/written permission. He took a big gamble, intentionally, and lost. Although, I still can’t help but wonder why CIF waited so late in the season to raise the issue – they’re refusal to comment on the situation leads me to believe that it wasn’t an issue until someone, outside of Muir, complained and they acted to save CIF’s reputation rather than protect the true interest of the students at Muir i.e. we failed to properly address the issue 4 months ago and find it more damaging than anything to address it so late in the season, or we stand by our initial decision granting the transfer. Im confident that their investigation into the issue didnt start until the latter part of the season (instead of when the transfer request was provided) until, again, someone outside of Muir pushed the issue. It is highly unlikely, particularly based upon CIFs prior statements about transfers, that they didnt know that this kid was on his 4th school in 4 years until nearly the end of the season. In fact, the record would show that they approved the transfer based upon the representations by all the parties involved. Again, there hand was pushed and they chose to protect their reputation, regardless of who it harmed, than to admit their obvious failure.

    If those who play by the rules cant trust the Principal, the Athletic Director, Head Coach OR CIF, to make sure that everyone on the team is legit, what are they to do? Conduct their own investigations? Mind you, these are all KIDS they need to be able to trust the adults in charge.

    It’s an ugly situation. I expect the AD and Mr. Smalley both to be relieved of their duties. And they should. Muirs entire basketball team was punished, severely, why shouldnt they. Ms. Orange will be reprimanded in some fashion but her liability lies more within her administration as opposed to her actual job responsibilities as is in the case with Mr. Smalley and the AD.

    Ugly, horrible situation, but who knows, maybe theres a silver lining in waiting. I hope so. Muirs past season cant all be for nothing.

    Laurence Todd