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Depew coach Larry Jones on co-Section VI chairman Monaco's firing: 'Al has been wronged.'

Today I interviewed Depew 20-year coach Larry Jones, who was named co-chairman of Section VI boys basketball with Monaco this year.

His comments will be part of a story published in Tuesday's News.

Jones will be one of many coaches who are expected to gather, along with officials and former and current players of Monaco, at Tuesday night's Williamsville Board of Education as a show of support for the coach.

The 7 p.m. meeting at the district office boardroom, 105 Casey Road, is a special one to appoint a new board member. According to the agenda on its website, there is no "public expression" scheduled as there is for regular meetings. The next regular meeting of the board is Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

"As a group of basketball coaches, we understand that we may not be allowed to comment, but we want to be there.

 “The basketball community has been deeply affected by this, and we're honoring a colleague who has done nothing wrong. If we're allowed to speak, we'll certainly take that opportunity.

 “We realize this could be any one of us. To think that a parent thinks they have the right to go to the superintendent over a kid basically not getting playing time, then we as coaches are going to be in trouble, and districts will have trouble finding qualified coaches because they'll be having to deal with disgruntled parents.

"We're supporting Al, not only because of the great job that we all know he has done, but we realize we could be the next one to go if other superintendents fall in line with a decision like this.

"I think [the superintendent] wanted to escape negative publicity to appease parents that thought they were being wronged in some way. Now he has to deal with a different group of people who believe Al has been wronged.

"To have his reputation tarnished in this way is very difficult to recover from -- but the positive side is that there is a group of people rallying in support of Al, knowing that he deserves that and has earned that. As a colleague, he is as good as it gets."

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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