Dear readers, I’m sorry. It’s my fault and I apologize.
At the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees special meeting last week there were several items on the agenda. The new athletic director, Jacob Ripple, was officially hired. A new head basketball coach, Steve Tucker, was hired, replacing Kyle Campbell, who recently resigned to take an assistant coaching position at Division I Sam Houston State.
Oh, and an investigation conducted by a Great Bend attorney found a former administrator may have broken the law.
Notice, dear readers, the use of the word AND in the previous paragraph. In this case, it means ALSO, as in, a completely different topic.
Some of our readers didn’t notice AND in the previous story and came to the conclusion that former Conquistadors head coach Campbell had gotten a gun and other items from the college without paying for them, that his wife was teaching without credentials to do so and he was teaching classes he didn’t have credentials for.
Campbell has received several emails suggesting the accusations would be sent to the NCAA in a bid to get him banned from coaching. Really? Campbell may not have gotten DCCC to a national tournament in his time here, but he was a good coach in a tough conference. He went 92-66 in five seasons for the school.
He was not an administrator. He was a basketball coach.
How, dear readers, do you confuse things and think Campbell did these things? How, dear readers, does anyone take to the Internet and say things without proof? Why would any of you threaten his career based on a story in a newspaper which did not accuse him of anything?
Campbell has made it clear to his new bosses at Sam Houston State that he did not do anything wrong, that he was not an administrator and that he was just confused as I am right now.
My belief is roughly 75 percent — or more — know who the investigation was on. There’s only a handful of administrator’s who have been here lately and are no longer at the college.
Let’s also be clear that a department head, athletic director or program director are not administrators either.
I’ve got to believe most of the drama revolving around the college is simply people believing what they want to believe. Unfortunately, the board of trustees can’t always divulge all information when they want to. Most trustees want transparency, but realize, with the help of the college attorney, that’s not always possible until a later time.
Meanwhile rumors run wild and we, the newspaper, get crucified if we don’t print the rumors. We’ve stressed we’ll only run factual stories and we won’t print any story without verification, but somehow, in doing this, many believe we aren’t doing our jobs.
But, heck, when we do our job, some of our readers take a giant leap and assume Campbell is the Al Capone of college coaches and needs to be stopped. Has reading comprehension really derailed that much? Has social media — and making points in 140 characters — made it necessary to jump to conclusions rather than read — and understand — everything?
Here let me address a couple of rumors I’ve heard lately. No, Campbell was not the focus of an investigation, nor is he believed to have done anything wrong while at DCCC. Quit confusing two totally separate issues from one meeting.
No, the college is not taking over Legends Park. Why would the city do that? There’s no upside for either the college or city with this rumor.
No, the college is not trying to do away with standard classrooms and go strictly to Internet classes. Really? With room and board included in roughly 200 or so athletes living in the dorms, wouldn’t this end an athletics program which brings quite a bit of the budget into the school each year. Plus, there are more students who want to go to class than just take Internet classes.
No, there are no plans to seek more college land. The city stated in its presentations to the trustees that it only wanted 3.1 acres on the southern end of the campus. They also stated there are no plans to ask for more — including frontage land along 14th Avenue.
This has been publicly stated — and negotiated — between the college and trustees, yet it remains a key component to the upcoming election.
Does everything have to be blown out of proportion? Why?
I’ve heard some candidates are concerned with the way three faculty members didn’t receive tenure and new contracts. Trustee Terry Malone wanted two of the three to get more training and guidance on what they should be doing and have their contracts renewed. It’s a good strategy, and brings up a point about program guidance, but a board makes the decision, and the board wasn’t happy about the lack of contact between the music program and Dodge City High School.
It’s interesting to note on the third faculty member, even Malone voted to terminate.
I wonder how many candidates will find things much different if they are elected to the trustees. Not all issues are black-and-white. Each trustee must sort through many shades of grey to find their truth.
But, I digress.
A head basketball coach is not an administrator. Campbell is not who trustees were discussing concerning possible criminal activities.
Reading comprehension is necessary in our daily lives. Much more important than Facebook or Twitter.
So, dear readers, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
Roger Bluhm is the managing editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe. Follow him on Twitter @roger_dcglobe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.