A few issues surrounding Blanche Ely High School
By A’Nassya Bruton FAMU Intern
Students, parents, teachers, and members of the community gathered together at Bethel AME Church in Pompano Beach, Fla. on June 14, 2013 to discuss a few issues surrounding Blanche Ely High School, particularly it’s basketball coach.
Melvin Randall, better known as coach Randall, was recently relieved of his position as head coach of Blanche Ely’s basketball team without reason. Melvin Randall has been a coach at Blanche Ely for 12 years.
Despite holding up the tradition of Ely’s phenomenal basketball program and winning state championship two years in a row, while also getting his players in college and scholarships to pay for it, Principal Johnson for some reason felt need to remove him as coach.
Coach Randall stated that there was no wrong doing on his part and that there were plenty of rumors and allegations spread about him but nothing has been put on file and he hasn’t been reprimanded for anything.
He was informed by Principal Johnson that they were moving in a new direction, but coach Randall feels as though the problems are more personal than anything.
Randall is still a math teacher at Blanche Ely but he isn’t going to stand for the defamation of his character stating, “I am seeking legal advice that is showing documentations that clearly show efforts in trying to destroy my credibility by false accusations.”
According to coach Randall it’s about more then just basketball. He is a father to most of these young men who come from a single parent home.
More than anything, his peers have nothing but wonderful things to say about him.
His assistant coach, coach McNair, states, “Melvin Randall is a great leader and mentor to these kids. He has done nothing but move this basketball program in a positive direction.”
The players of the basketball team are clearly distraught about the principal’s decision and even a few parents had something to say about it.
Lashawn Mohorn has a son named Trevor who just transferred from Coral Springs Charter to Blanche Ely to play basketball because of coach Radall.
Mohorn states, “Mr. Randall is the reason, I brought Trevor over to Ely. I knew that Randall could help Trevor be a successful student athlete. He makes sure that his students are on track when it comes to class work and test scores.”
Coach Randall would love to be reinstated back to his position as head coach and although he has done nothing wrong to be relieved of that position the principal has the right to do whatever he wants.
According to Florida law, Florida is an “at will” state. This means that any employer can fire an employee without any reason. As an “at will” employee, coach Randall can take legal matters into his own hands and sue if he has proof that he was fired for illegal reasons such as discrimination.
There’s more at stake than reputations and allegations. The bigger question is what about the students, and what status will the Blanche Ely Basketball team have next school year?
Coach Randall has put Ely’s basketball team on the national radar. For the past two seasons they ranked in the USA Today Super 25 High School Boys Basketball Rankings, the only Florida high school to do so.
Melvin Randall goes the extra mile to help prepare his student athletes for a brighter future. Being a mentor, father, guidance counselor, role model, and an amazing coach to these young men, whoever comes in to replace him has some huge shoes to fill.
Summer intern A’Nassya Bruton is a Junior at Florida A&M University(FAMU) seeking a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.