The Bellevue football scandal which has taken the luster off one of America’s most renowned high school football programs peeled back another layer weeks after the Wolverines were banned from the Washington postseason for a period of four years.
As reported by the Seattle Times, which has led the investigation of the Bellevue scandal throughout, the Bellevue program made at least $175,000 in payments to on leave head football coach Butch Goncharoff for jerseys, shirts and other items across 16 years via his Bay City Printing company. Those payments violate district policies, with Bellevue officials confirming they have ceased all purchases from Bay City Printing after they learned the company is owned by the coach, who is now on leave.
Meanwhile, Goncharoff’s own legal representatives insist that the district knew the coach owned the company all along, going so far as to color the mere admission of the payments at this stage as another info dump aimed at pushing as much culpability away from Bellevue hands and on to Goncharoff as he is in the process of being jettisoned from the program he helped make famous.
“(Saying the school didn’t know Goncharoff owned Bay City Printing is part of the) inconsistent and ever-changing ‘interpretations’ of their own policies.” Goncharoff attorney Malaika Eaton told the Times.
Yet some of the business practices by Goncharoff raise plenty of questions about just how much his business was above the board, as outlined by the Times.
Goncharoff’s screen-printing business does not have a large public presence. It doesn’t appear to have a website. Goncharoff’s cellphone voicemail says callers have reached “Bellevue Screen Printing,” not Bay City Printing. In some of the invoice documents filed with the district, the company’s address is listed as Goncharoff’s home in Medina.
Both Goncharoff and assistant coach Pat Jones have been placed on leave, with Jones having a minimum one-year ban confirmed, with the assistant scheduled to earn his full salary while on leave.
That may be a better outcome than what is set for Goncharoff, whose position isn’t being helped by the latest revelations.