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The other day we blogged about how Andover Public Schools superintendent Sheldon “Shelley” Berman made up a blatant lie to the media when he claimed that hockey coach Chris Kuchar made his players go without food and water for 12 hours as punishment for losing a game in Springfield:
Berman told The Eagle-Tribune that the players didn’t eat for 12 hours as punishment for losing the game.
Shelley Berman also adamantly denied having a grudge to pick with Coach Kucher because he benched his kid a couple years ago:
Numerous reports in social media attribute the matter in part to a grudge Berman is alleged to have against Kuchar. Berman’s son played on the team two years ago. Berman rejected those accusations and said he has no grudge against the coach.
“This has nothing to do with me,” Berman said. “I had nothing to do with making the complaint. My kid was on the team a long while ago. My kid had a good experience. It comes from inaccurate sources who like to report inaccurate things. It has nothing to do with the incident DCF is investigating. My kid played hockey, but it has nothing to do with this incident. He graduated two years ago. This is a complaint filed by parents, current parents, as far as I know.”
But Shelley Berman has a lot of skeletons in his closet. And it turns out that in 2008 when he was the Superintendent of the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, a 15 year old kid died during football practice after allegedly being denied water on a 94 degree day. But he backed the coach up:
Dr. Sheldon Berman says the school district’s investigation found Max Gilpin did not die as a result of a difficult practice on Aug. 20th of last year. Gilpin’s death has sparked nationwide controversy over the actions of coaches and heat-related illness. Berman does acknowledge, “”We think there are some changes that need to be made. But in terms of taking responsibility for Max’s death, no. What we’re saying is that the causes are other than that practice.”
Gilpin collapsed after running a set of sprints at the end of practice. He died three days later from complications of heat stroke. The temperature that day was 94 degrees. The lengthy report shows conflicting statements about whether players were denied water. Coach Jason Stinson told his players they would continue to run until someone quit the team.
Yup. He’s got direct experience with this issue. Except at Andover no one got hurt, everyone had water, and the whole thing was a lie, while in Kentucky a kid died. This is why he freaked out and suspended Coach Kucher. Because this story still haunts him. Unlike in Andover, multiple witnesses testified that Max Gilpin was denied water in the 94 degree heat. Shelley feigned his outrage to the local media:
Superintendent Berman said Wednesday, “I’m outraged by the statement of Coach Stinson that the running would end when someone quit. It’s not an appropriate way to motivate players and will not be tolerated.”
Yea, he was “outraged.” So outraged that he let the coach finish out the season, even though the incident happened on August 20, and he was not allowed to teach:
When asked why was Stinson allowed to coach the PRP team all season after Max’s death, but now has been pulled from the classroom, Berman told WAVE 3 that he was allowed to keep coaching and teaching until criminal charges came. At that point, Stinson was relocated.
A school district investigation into the popular coach determined that the coach was not at fault, and he was allowed to reapply for the job the next year!
Sheldon Berman, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, said in a statement that Stinson, who has been working in a non-instructional position, is now cleared to return to teaching and eligible to apply for a coaching position. Berman said administrators will meet with him to determine his future placement.
Many thought that the school’s investigation of itself was bunk:
After interviews with more than 125 witnesses, the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) delivered their own report on the Max Gilpin incident. It was so favorable to Stinson that Stengel called it “the biggest cover-up since Watergate.”
But even though he let this coach back into the classroom and rehired him as a coach, Shelley Berman still played both sides of the fence and pretended to be “outraged” about what the coach did:
Nevertheless, school superintendent Sheldon Berman had a few things to say about Stinson’s conduct:
“While the evidence did not reveal any violation of … JCPS rules, I am extremely troubled—actually I am outraged—by the statement made that day by head coach Jason Stinson—that the running would end when someone quit the team. While this kind of negative motivation may be used in some amateur and even professional sports, that kind of culture has absolutely no place in JCPS’ athletic programs.”
So just to review.
In 2008 one of the coaches in his school district admittedly ran kids over and over again in 94 degree heat, leading to the death of a 15 year old. He backed that coach up and rehired him, while simultaneously pretending to be upset with him.
Then in 2018 he heard a rumor from one butthurt parent that kids were denied food and water during a trip to Springfield. The same coach he was still mad at for benching his kid two years ago. This rumor has been proven false with pictures, receipts, and emails. In this case no one died or was even hurt, but Shelley Berman suspended the coach and made up a lie about a 12 hour trip that was really 8 hours.
The coach who was being investigated for killing a kid got the benefit of the doubt and finished the season while being investigated by Shelley.
The coach who did nothing wrong doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt and is immediately suspended until the investigation is completed.
How did the Andover School Committee hire this guy to be the superintendent? Is their Google machine broken? we found this stuff in five minutes. Not only did they hire him, they paid him $228,000 a year, which is much more than the average superintendent makes in Massachusetts.
We got much more coming on this guy. He has so many skeletons in his closet it could fill a Smithsonian museum. He is completely incompetent and corrupt and has no business overseeing a school district like Andover.
In the meantime, feel free to contact him to let him know that he should resign and that coach Kucher should immediately be reinstated: