Remember Reno Saccocia? He's the head coach of the Steubenville High School football team who—while he continues to serve in that capacity—recently received a two-year administrative contract extension. The administrative position is supplementary to his role as football coach.
In case you managed to forget the horrific details of the sexual assault committed by two of the team's football players last August, you can refresh your memory with the extensive piece in The New York Times.
Two of Saccocia's players—Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond—were found guilty of sexually assaulting a girl at a party. Mays was sentenced to at least two years in juvenile detention. Richmond was sentenced to at least a year. But, the fiasco isn't over for the victim, or the town of Steubenville for that matter. There's a looming grand jury hearing that will help to determine who else, if anyone, should face charges in relation to the case.
Saccocia's name comes up because of a series of text messages sent by Trent Mays. The most damning of which reads:
"I got Reno. He took care of it and shit ain't gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried."
This, coupled with Saccocia's apparent lack of action in the immediate wake of the alleged attacks, has many calling for him to be fired.
Because of that text — and because Saccoccia apparently didn't punish his football players until eight games in to their ten-game regular season (Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were suspended, but it's unclear if that happened before their arrest) — there have been calls, mostly from beyond Steubenville, for the school to relieve him of a position he has held fore more than 30 years. One of the most popular petitions on the social justice site Change.org is still "Steubenville Schools: Fire Coach Reno Saccoccia," which has 134,000 signatures.
The upcoming grand jury hearing (April 30th) could result in charges for Saccocia or others involved with the case.
But Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has indicated that the grand jury investigation will look into whether anyone else should be charged with, among other things, a failure to report a crime or tampering with evidence. "We want to bring finality so the community feels that justice has been done — that nothing has been swept under the rug and everyone has their day in court," DeWine said after the verdict.
Still, though, the school district approved a two-year administrative extension for Saccocia, who will continue to coach the football team. [The Atlantic Wire]