A more cynical fellow might ask this today: How did we all miss the memo that George Steinbrenner's reincarnation is running the athletic department at Fitch High School?
Not to, you know, cheapen an otherwise serious issue, but not since the last time The Boss discovered sour milk beneath his corn flakes did this many people been canned in such a short period.
Girls' basketball coach Dave Huber: out.
Cheerleading coach Brooke Meyers: out.
Boys' basketball coach Gary Ballestrini: resigned, but told he'd have been out anyway.
School sources said earlier this week that Rich Kosta has been told that if chooses to continue coaching track, he'll no longer function as athletic director.
Even football coach Mike Emery, school sources said, has been told he must choose between coaching and remaining as assistant principal after this season.
Huber and Meyers were informed via letter from principal Joe Arcarese that said, essentially, don't bother reapplying for the job. Ballestrini said he was told the same thing, but resigned first.
Sources in the school system say there is justification for all of Arcarese's decisions, although none of the poohbahs in the high school or school system commented earlier this week to The Day's Chuck Potter, citing personnel issues.
Meyers, who wants an explanation, said three of the nine school board members responded to her, saying the board does not have purview over personnel issues.
The coaches (and inquisitive parents who want answers, too) should know that "personnel issue" doesn't necessarily have the same cachet as the old days. A relatively new state law requires due process for high school coaches who have been terminated.
I know this because my mother-in-law, Eileen Crompton, was instrumental in the law's enactment. Crompton, who wasn't an employee of the school system, won four state titles as the softball coach at Lewis Mills in Burlington before an underqualified applicant from the school system applied for the job. A spineless principal terminated Crompton with no explanation, much to the chagrin of players, parents and alumni.
Due process for high school coaches in Connecticut became law July 1, 2004. It reads in part:
"Any local or regional board of education acting directly, or through its duly authorized agent, that terminates or declines to renew the coaching contract of an athletic coach who has served in the same coaching position for three or more consecutive school years shall inform such coach of such decision no later than ninety days after the completion of the sport season covered by the contract.
"Such coach shall have an opportunity to appeal such decision to the local or regional board of education in a manner prescribed by such local or regional board of education. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a local or regional board of education from terminating the coaching contract of an athletic coach at any time (1) for reasons of moral misconduct, insubordination or a violation of the rules of the board of education, or (2) because a sport has been cancelled by the board of education."
Sources in the school system said this week there's no mechanism in place to hear an appeal.
They need to adopt one soon, or risk hearing from the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and other interested parties who view this law quite seriously.
Phone conversations with parents earlier this week revealed some concerns about the broom sweep through the athletic department without any explanation. Spies say there's justification. Others disagree.
Yet amid all the "they said, they said," there is a mechanism in place for a day in court.
If the coaches want to know, the Groton school system - as is the case with every other school system in Connecticut - must tell them. It's the law.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.