A varsity girls basketball coach in Florida has resigned amidst charges of racism in connection with the selection of his varsity squad.
As reported by Florida CBS affiliate WBBH, the Charlotte High girls basketball team was forced to suspend its second game of the season when school officials were left without a coach for the team after being blindsided by the sudden resignation of head coach Michael Robishaw and his two primary assistant coaches. According to WBBH, the coach’s surprising decision to step down was connected with a member of the team who complained about being cut for what she felt were racially charged reasons.
A Punta Gorda school district disputed that Robishaw had resigned specifically in reaction to the charges against him, instead saying that the coach left for personal reasons. Yet that claim rings a bit hollow in light of the district’s simultaneous admission that a player who was previously cut from the team had been reinstated, “following an investigation by district administration into complaints about the program.”
With the season underway, the district moved quickly to replace Robishaw, appointing former Charlotte basketball player and boys basketball assistant coach Matt Stephenson to take over the girls program. Stephenson held an initial meet and greet with parents during the time period when the team had expected to play in a game on Thursday night. By Saturday, the team was back in action, with Stephenson’s charges falling to Gulf Coast of Naples, 75-51.
Meanwhile there is no early indication if Robishaw will face additional charges on top of his self-imposed departure from the school. While it may not have been enough to save his position, some close to the program rushed to his defense, insisting that claims of racism were off-base.
“This is a good coach, I heard, because the school is not about that. I don’t think they are racist,” Charlotte High parent Yaleryn Dominguez told WBBH. “(The player was cut) only because she was not good enough.”