A Virginia high school football coach resigned from his position after he was put under pressure over holding an illegal Sunday practice in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Per the Virginian-Pilot, first-year Princess Anne (Va.) High School football coach Jelani Fair was forced to resign because he violated a Virginia High School League rule by holding practices on Sunday. An exception to that rule can only be granted by a school district’s superintendent, and Fair reportedly failed to receive that support when he scheduled his team’s extra session after Hurricane Florence led to a raft of canceled and rescheduled practices and games.
“We didn’t have practice all week and I felt like we had to do something,” Fair told the Virginian-Pilot. “I didn’t think it would be a big deal.
“I was never told not to have the Sunday practice.”
After Fair’s Sunday practices were reported to Princess Anne athletic director Bob Robbins and principal Danny Little, the coach was called in for a meeting and, according to Fair, presented with two options: resign or be fired.
He chose the first, then met with his team and told them he was stepping down for familial reasons.
For their part, Fair’s players appear to be lining up behind their now-former coach.
“(Fair) came in and he told us and we were all upset because coach Jay is my guy,” Princess Anne star Tony Grimes told the Virginian-Pilot. “It was very confusing and very upsetting. Losing a coach in the middle of the season is very hard and heartbreaking.
“You’re firing our head coach because of a Sunday practice. You never want to see a man lose his job, especially one who gives all his hard work and heart to.”