Goodrich Schools Superintendent Scott Bogner released this statement to NBC25 Monday regarding Gary Barns' leave of absence.
My goal as Superintendent is to create a school culture in which our athletic programs strive for excellence, and represent our District??s core values. As role models, all of our coaches must model appropriate behaviors at all times and as a District, we must allow our students a fun yet challenging extracurricular experience which complies with MHSAA requirements.
At this time, I confirm that after considering many factors, I have placed last year??s basketball coaches on administrative leave for the 12-13 season. I am awaiting the final decision from the MHSAA sometime next week and at that time, I will release a more complete statement to the parents and students who were involved in the 11-12 basketball program.
In the meantime, I ask that our community support all of our past and present athletes, our coaching staff and our District. I ask for your continued help in maintaining a spirit of pride and support for our students, players, and for the interim coaches in the coming year. It detracts from the program when a climate of animosity and personal attacks are ongoing; it is my hope and request that all such attacks cease and we look forward, not backwards, for the sake of our students and athletes. "
Barns released his own statement to MLIVE Friday through his attorney George Hamo:
With the serious medical issues involving my son David, it has been very stressful for our family. It was and still is a very difficult time. I wasn't around the basketball program a lot during the summer of 2011 due to David's medical needs, but as the head coach I am responsible for the program and actions of my staff during that time in regard to the MHSAA. I have been told by the district I will be the head coach next season (2013-14) and look forward to it. I ask for your thoughts and prayers for our family. From all of us, we sincerely appreciate and thank you for all of your continued support.??
NBC25 made phone calls to the Goodrich Athletic Director and coaches to confirm details of the incident in question, but those calls were not returned.