----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 3:58 PM
Subject: Randolph Cover-up
I just read your article on the Mike Randolph "mess" in the Reader
Weekly and believe that you have missed the point with your assesment of the
matter. Your comments reak of hearsay and innuendo and fail to address the
Laurie Knapp/Julio Almanza administrative debacle and cover-up.
It appears that Mr. Mars has convinced his pawns, Laurie and Julio that it is
important and necessary that all Duluth High School athletic teams are to be
"created" equal. Duluth East is a stand-out state hockey power and
well-respected for the success and consistency of results that they have
achieved under Coach Randolph. It is okay to have a "winning" hockey
program at East and by the way almost all of the athletic teams at East are
consistent winning teams and have been for years.
I would suggest that you as an elected member of the School Board and someone
who I supported with my vote and financial contribution demand answers from the
administration as to "what really happened", Coach Randolph has
nothing to hide.
For your information, I do not have kids involved in the hockey program, but I
am an interested parent of East High school kids.
* * *
From: harrywelty [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 5:18 PM
Subject: Re: Randolph Cover-up
Thanks for your thoughts. I really pulled my punches in the Reader because
I'm still trying to assess the Duluth East hockey program.
I have heard lots of hearsay and innuendo much of which I have been in a
position to completely discount. Bob Mars is a case in point. Bob is pompous
and self important. His little speech at the recent school board meeting was
stupid but Julio and Laurie are not his pawns. I have heard Bob grouse about
the Duluth East hockey program for a couple of years and I'm sure others
have too. His tie to Marshall is very awkward but he got elected despite it.
However, no one was more surprised to hear that Randolph was getting
non-renewed than Bob. Right now he's paying a high price for all of this.
Old friends are turning their backs on him. Supporting the Administration,
despite all the enmity leveled at him, is in some ways Bob's finest hour.
I know that the East Hockey partisans have a conspiracy theory all worked
out concerning Bob but all he ever wanted was to require East to play
Marshall at Mars arena and cut back their big trips to the Twin Cities. I
couldn't care less about this stuff myself. If East wants a "premier"
program that's fine with me. I just want two Duluth high schools that are
roughly the same sized. That way East wouldn't overshaddow Duluth's other
public high schools.
I'm afraid we could end up with a "Shoeless Joe" story here and that
be a shame. Mike Randolph lives for hockey. I just hinted at the problems we
might uncover. I dismissed the recruiting issue but suddenly I've suddenly
been innundated by calls from hockey parents who transfered their hockey
stars to Duluth East from around the state. One sent me an email today
offering me political support if I helped reinstate Randolph. Sheesh!
I just hinted at financial impropriety in my column. I'd heard that Larry
Traschel, an East Assistant coach, might be making a commission on the
wreaths. He called me yesterday and I asked him point blank if he did. He
did. When I talked to him three weeks ago he told me he sold his wreath
business and didn't mention that he made any profit on the East wreath sale.
I don't appreciate the evasiveness and his pecuniary interest in the wreath
sale is against our Board policy.
We ordered the coaches to change their sales practices at least three years
ago not just last fall. Three years ago we forced the team to keep all kids
on the roster rather than cut the ones who raised money. The coaches didn't
like this at all. Two years ago, Larry went to a parent meeting (I've had
three parents tell me this) and told the parents that he didn't know what
"Laurie Knapp had up her butt" but that they knew how to get around
orders. This is insubordination on top of conflict of interest. Again, this
was two years ago not last Fall. Worse yet, when the team was ordered to
reimburse the kids who were cut the coaches changed the price structure of
the wreaths to give the kids smaller profits (but presumably more for Larry
Traschel) The Randolph folks are as selective about the information they
share with the media as they are liberal in casting innuendo.
I've talked to a couple of people who have had kids on Randolph's teams.
Frankly some of the stories they tell me are troubling. These are teenagers
not twenty-year-olds. The adults in their lives must excercise good
judgement and balance not athletic fanaticism.
I think it might be in order to investigate the operation of the Hockey
booster's 501(3)c that these guys have set up. I'm talking about subpoenas.
They took money over and above the fee the District charges kids and
deposited it into the Booster fund not the East High Activity fund. At the
very least what they did was sloppy. At worst.....who knows?
Mike Randolph is a great coach and a fine elementary teacher. This doesn't
give him carte blanch to do whatever he wants to build a winning team.
* * *
Subject: RE: Randolph Cover-up
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 11:25:44 -0500
To: "harrywelty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Harry, thanks for your update and as always I appreciate
your willingness to share info.