Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports reporter
A rough start to the 2017 baseball season got even worse at Nordhoff High School (NHS) when school administrators reported that head baseball coach Sean Strben resigned effective March 17 after multiple issues surfaced with this year’s varsity team. Three players have reportedly been dismissed from the team. School officials, however, would not comment on what, if any, further action would be taken against them.
“There have been several issues and incidents of concern related to this year's varsity baseball season,” Nordhoff principal Greg Bayless wrote in a letter to parents. “Most recently, a few players made the extremely poor and indefensible decision to manipulate the letters on their team jerseys to spell out the worst, most hateful and disrespectful racial slur that exists in our culture. We take this kind of behavior very, very seriously, as it is completely inconsistent with our values. The players involved in this incident were removed from the team, and additional school-related consequences will be administered that are consistent with our unwavering commitment to keeping Nordhoff a school of respect and dignity for all students and families.”
According to Bayless, NHS wants to be clear Strben was not involved in the incident with the jerseys, and that “he shares our deep sense of disappointment and sadness over what has occurred.”