Chamblee High’s football season is in shambles, its coach is gone and DeKalb County Schools legal authorities are looking into its finances.
As The Crier first reported. Chamblee played at Lowndes County without Coach Curtis Mattair, who was placed on paid administrative leave after he provided the team with T-shirts displaying a vulgar admonition (“Don’t Be No P….”).
He returned to the sidelines Aug. 31 to lead the team in a loss to Dunwoody but announced four days later that he would step down as head coach while continuing as an assistant.
The Crier filed an open records request with DeKalb Schools and received immediate cooperation along with the news that Mattair would no longer be coaching in any capacity.
We sought to learn about discrepancies in the amounts to be paid to Chamblee for its travels to Pickens County, Lowndes County, just north of the Florida border, and to Coffee High in Douglas, Ga.
Per the Open Records:
Pickens County was to pay Chamblee $5,000 over two years.
Coffee was to pay Chamblee $7,000 a year each for two seasons.
Lowndes was to pay Chamblee $12,000. The contract cites two games at Lowndes but doesn’t specify if the amount is for one year or two years. DeKalb Schools say a check for that amount was deposited into the Chamblee general fund upon the team’s return.
The Crier’s interest grew from a letter from the board of the Chamblee Touchdown Club to its members after a meeting with Mattair and Principal Rebecca Braaten.
“Some have expressed concern that these games were scheduled simply as a ’pay day’ for the school without concern of the negative effects it might have on the student athletes,” the letter said.
Board members said Braaten assured them this was not the case, and that the school would never make a schedule simply to collect money.
The board wrote that when asked directly how much Chamblee was being paid to play these games, both Braaten and Mattair said that Chamblee High School was being paid $5,000 for the Lowndes game and $3,000 for the Coffee game. That money is being paid directly to Chamblee High School (no money is going to DeKalb County School System or the Chamblee Touchdown Club).
One board member who didn’t wish to be identified said the board clearly was misled or given inaccurate information.
As The Crier went to press Monday, Chamblee had yet to name a head football coach and the team went without practice all last week (a bye week), with Pickens County coming up this week, followed by Coffee Sept. 21. Coffee is the No. 2 ranked team in Class AAAAAA.
Chamblee finished last season 1-9 and is winless this season.