Gulliver Fires Coach For Allegedly Sending Sexually Explicit Video
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A South Florida high school baseball coach is out of a job for allegedly sending sexually explicit video to his players.
The head of the upscale Gulliver Schools, Frank Steel, said on Thursday Varsity Head Baseball Coach Javier Rodriguez is no longer employed with them.
His firing came after an investigation into what the school called "inappropriate electronic communication containing or linking to a brief, sexually explicit video during the 2015 season."
The school said once they confirmed he sent the video, they terminated his position.
School staff are contacting anyone they say was impacted by the incident.
Parents were stunned after they received an e-mail.
"It's very shocking. It can happen anywhere, but I'm surprised, I'm very surprised," said Helga Diaz, a parent of one of the students.
While the coach's dismissal stunned parents, about a dozen or so gathered at a home in Westchester Thursday night in support of Rodriguez. They told CBS4 they wanted to find a way to help the beloved coach.
"What he did was a mistake," German Marcos told Reporter Donna Rapado.
They said the text Rodriguez sent to the students was an honest mistake, a joke he meant to text to a group of adults. But he pressed "Send" too quickly, immediately realizing the group text also included the phone numbers of some students.
"He's been a good coach," Marcos said. "He's done a lot for our kids and we just wanna make sure his name is not out there tainted."
"Obviously he's lost his job already and there's nothing we can do about that," added mom Sarah Phillips. "And we know that. But we don't want his reputation tarnished. Whether you're a great player, or an average player, or a mediocre player, it doesn't matter to him. He cares about the kids."
Many students had no idea the coach was accused of sending the explicit material or that he had been fired.
Student Sergio Carvalho said, "I hope it's not true, that's pretty bad."
"It's pretty wrong because an adult shouldn't be doing that," said student Mitchel Roitberg.
CBS4's Ted Scouten tried speaking to the coach at the address where he's listed. First, they were told he wasn't there, then someone else said he didn't live there.
The issue is also being handled by authorities, according to Steel who released a statement saying in part, "This matter has been referred to law enforcement. We are cooperating fully, but as a matter of policy, cannot comment further on this situation.
This isn't the first time a baseball coach got in trouble at Gulliver Schools. In 2005, Coach Laser Collazo resigned. He too was accused of inappropriate behavior in front of his players.
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