The football coach at Chamblee Charter High was on the sidelines for Friday’s night game with Dunwoody High.
Curtis Mattair was reinstated from one-week paid administrative leave Friday morning over what the DeKalb Schools said was an investigation of a personnel matter.
As The Crier first reported last week, Mattair was not allowed to travel with the Bulldog team to Lowndes County High School near Valdosta, leaving the team under the direction of an assistant principal.
The initial trouble for Mattair came from television news reports that he distributed T-shirts to his players bearing the letters, “DBNP.”
The letters stood for “Don’t Be No P….”
Players and coaches said the expletive was a derogatory term for women. Mattair’s first explanation to school officials was that the letters stood for “Don’t Be No Procrastinator.”
But Mattair’s job status seems shaky, despite his reinstatement.
The Bulldogs were 1-9 last season, losing nine straight games.
They were 0-2 heading into Friday’s Battle for the Golden Spike with Dunwoody. They lost their opener at Forsyth Central 42-17 and were routed by Lowndes 62-0.
Some parents and student journalists from the Chamblee Blue and Gold are raising questions about the team’s scheduling. The Crier has filed a request under the Open Records Act for contracts for Chamblee’s non-region schedule, and DeKalb Schools have until this week to reply.
We also have asked the county into which accounts football payments are made and if they directly benefit the football program.
In college football it is common for small schools with small budgets to travel to schools from the Power Five conferences in return for a large guaranteed payment.
Witness Saturdays games between UGA and Austin Peay and Georgia Tech and Alcorn State. Payments to the two smaller schools will be large enough to cover a substantial part of the athletics budget.
The Crier’s preliminary inquiry was focused on two areas - football and finances.
All the coaches with whom we spoke on background were startled that a team as weak as Chamblee would travel hours to the south Georgia powerhouses of Lowndes, and soon, Coffee County in Douglas.
The larger schools and programs, they say, put player safety at risk.
But we also learned that it is becoming a more common practice among high schools to travel long distances in return for a negotiated fee.
South Georgia is a popular venue because it has so few schools that play in the largest classifications. Those schools often must schedule teams from Florida, Alabama and metro Atlanta to fill up their schedules.
Pending receipt of our Open Records request we have learned that Chamblee was paid well to travel to Lowndes and to Coffee. It received no payment for games with Forsyth Central and Pickens County.
Some parents question the long-distance games because of lost class time on Fridays and bone-weary bus rides arriving back at campus in the early morning hours.
Along with coaches, parents ask why games can’t be scheduled closer to home, even in DeKalb County where several high schools traditionally have hapless football records.
Parents at Chamblee are understandably reluctant to be identified for fear of reprisals by coaches or administrators.