Happen to read yesterday's fluff piece in the Miami Herald on Marcos "Shakey" Rodriguez's departure from the boy's basketball coaching position at Krop High? Here's the lede:
Shakey Rodriguez, the hyper intense, hyper successful and hyper controversial coach who made basketball matter in Miami, has decided to retire.
Blech. According to a well-placed source, Rodriguez didn't "retire" in any I'm-old-and-I-want-to-go-fishing kind of way. He was asked not to return to Miami-Dade public schools in an effort to reduce inevitable fines forthcoming to Krop after its basketball team was busted trampling the rules last season.
It's no secret that Krop High has been the target of a Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) investigation since its boy's basketball squad, then ranked number one in the state, was disqualified from tournament play in February. And we hear that the FHSAA has confirmed findings first uncovered by Riptide: that at least three basketball players were living at bogus addresses or not with listed guardians.
The consequences for such cheating are severe. The students in question can be barred from playing for a full year. There can be restrictions placed on the team. And, most dauntingly to a cash-strapped school district, Krop will likely be subject to six-digit fines.
According to our source, FHSAA honchos have had multiple meetings with Miami-Dade Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho, assistant superintendent Daniel Tosado, and regional superintendent Marcos Moran. The school brass was eager to "assure [FHSAA] that this wouldn't happen again."
There's a precedent for the athletic association showing leniency when school administrators serve up scalps. Last year, a $260,000 fine was halved at Miramar's charter Parkway Academy, site of a massive football scandal, after administrators went on a firing spree in the athletic department.
The question now, of course, is whether Shakey is only the first sacrificial lamb.
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Even that blind Herald article noted that the coach plans to "take some time off and return to coaching, but not at the public high school level." Of course, Florida's private high schools-- blissfully free from governmental oversight-- would make a nice fit for a man who's been chased by scandal for more than a decade.
And the rumor is that Shakey is headed to top prep Gulliver Schools.
Shakey hasn't returned a message left on his cell phone. We also left a message for a Miami-Dade schools flack. Reached by Riptide, FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing had only this eulogy for Shakey's public schools career: "I'm sure he did a lot of great things for some of his students. The thing he needs to learn is you're remembered for the example you set. The bad ten percent overshadows the good ninety percent."