Testimony was given by Lafayette Athletics Director Jeff Nelson and Superintendent Mike Foster in a public hearing regarding the re-assignment and re-hiring of girls fastpitch softball coach Cay Papagolos on Wednesday morning.Nelson was the first called witness who gave testimony about the re-assignment of Papagolos, who was not able to coach the Lady Commodores this season, her fourth at the school. Nelson stayed on the witness stand for an hour and 35 minutes at the hearing held at the administrative offices located on school grounds.
Nelson was asked a bevy of questions regarding Papagolos, who he hired from a school in Texas, and the decision to re-assign her from her coaching role. Nelson said after meeting with Foster about Papagolos, a recommendation was made to the school board in March. The school board has yet to make a final decision on Papagolos’ future and will be given a copy of the testimony in the coming weeks.
An investigation conducted by the Office for Civil Rights is currently ongoing and one of the reasons why the public hearing was being conducted today. Papagolos and her attorney, Joe Murray of Ripley, contend that the school district was not in compliance on several issues relating to the softball program and girls athletics overall.
Nelson admitted during his testimony this morning that Papagolos never had the same amount of paid assistants as the baseball program. Nelson also admitted to an encounter between Papagolos and school board president Mike McPhail over the issue of assistant coaches and budget items prior to her being re-assigned.
More testimony regarding Papagolos and her coaching tenure was expected to continue after a lunch break. Up to four more witnesses were expected to be called by Murray. A full review of the proceedings will be made available in Thursday’s EAGLE. (June 1, 2011)