Good Guys Do Bad Things and Should Be Punished

This morning, the C-J editorial board is calling for action from JCPS superintendent Sheldon Berman, who should have fired both PRP football coach David Stinson and principal David Johnson long ago.

We didn’t learn until Johnson’s deposition was released yesterday the extent of his incompetence in the matter. Loyalty to a wrongfully-charged employee is one thing, but participating in protecting him is quite another.

It’s also now clear from Johnson’s statements that rather than investigating and considering the possibility that Stinson may have done something wrong at the Aug. 20 practice, he took action to prevent negative comments about Stinson from other investigators.

From the C-J editorial, we learn that Johnson told a PRP resident that Stinson was hired because of “his strong Christian beliefs.” And that Johnson kept no records, no notes, destroyed incriminating e-mails and lied about the depth of his investigation.

A few weeks back, every local TV station covered the heart-wrenching protests organized by school supporters and church groups. The polishing of Stinson’s image included many references to his faith and how much everyone liked him. The idea seemed to be to present him to the public as some kind of sympathetic figure wrongly accused. Hundreds flocked to the protests and joined online support groups.

He may be a decent guy, but he also may have run Max Gilpin to his grave.

Johnson won’t get the same treatment, and he’s not charged with a crime. Probably a great guy, too. But let’s not forget that he’s got his own troubles, and that when good guys make bad decisions it should cost them their jobs.

Time for a “What Were They Thinking” Update

Bulleit In Court: WLKY’s Jim Bulleit was in court yesterday. According to a court document, he pled guilty to the shoplifting and criminal trespassing charges and was placed in a diversion program — sort of a traffic school for shoplifters. And a condition of the deal was that Danger Boy can’t step foot in any Kroger. No word on whether he’ll be stepping foot in the WLKY studios anytime soon.

Lies at PRP: The principal at PRP thought so much of Coach Jason Stinson that he deleted e-mails complaining about Stinson’s practices. Then he told people he’d conducted a thorough investigation. David Johnson gave a four-hour deposition last week in which he said he didn’t even ask Stinson about the controversial practice for two days. And yes, Johnson, like Stinson, is still being paid by JCPS. [C-J]

Penetrating Read: Those potty-minded folks at LEO are having some fun with their new logo’s phallic possibilities. [FatLip]

Vroom Vroom: Gov. Beshear is holding a press conference at Kentucky Speedway to talk about the future of NASCAR here. Maybe it’s a new revenue plan to combine gambling, drinking, smoking and driving. [Press Release]

Taxing Phones: The smarties over at the Public Service Commission figured out that their revenue from a tax on landline phones was eventually going to disappear, so they ordered that everyone with a mobile phone now has to pay into a fund that provides devices for the deaf and hard of hearing. Kentucky has 2.4 million mobile numbers in use, while the number of landline phones has dropped by half since 2006. [PSC release]

Flooding the Troops: Okolona Metro Council member Madonna Flood has been collecting goodies for the troops in Iran and Afghanistan since 2007, and just launched a new drive. Called “Doing Our part from the Heart,” she’s collecting basic items to send overseas. [Metro Council release]

Lobbying Logic Lesson: Lobbyists spent $15.7 million on the General Assembly, led by the tobacco and casino industries. The tobacco tax increase was a fraction of what it should have been. Figure it out. [Page One]

Hump Day: Watch for news about I Love Mountains Day. Festivities start at 11 in Frankfort. [Page One]

Since it’s Tuesday: It must be time to watch the CW Louisville Live at 10. See you then.

Stinson’s Zipped Lip

Former PRP football coach Jason Stinson showed up for his deposition in the civil case against him this morning, and promptly refused to say anything. His attorney cited his ongoing criminal case, in which Stinson is charged with reckless homicide, as reason for his silence in the civil matter, brought by the late Max Gilpin’s parents.

On the stand, Stinson exercised his rights and refused to answer questions, including the one the prosecution most wanted to ask — Did he deny players water and make players run until someone quit?

We may never know, but it’s going to take a criminal trial before Stinson speaks and the facts come out.

Meanwhile, Stinson is going to work every day for JCPS in a non-teaching role. And this week Rep. Joni Jenkins introduced a bill in Frankfort calling for defibrillators to be present at high school practices along with a pool of ice in hot weather.

Publicity about Stinson’s case SHOULD be enough, however, to keep such an incident like this from happening again. Running sprints until players drop just isn’t OK. No one disputes that Stinson (as evidenced by the rallies of support in PRP) is a decent human being or that he was not intentionally causing Gilpin’s death. But we’re also pretty sure that his coaching techniques helped cause this young man’s death.

The other piece of news in the case is that a judge wants to see the results of the Jefferson County Schools’ investigation, and demanded that JCPS attorney explain why they won’t turn the good over next week.

Here’s links to coverage by WLKY-TV and the Courier.