Suspension of Enright Advised : Capo Valley Forfeit Also Recommended Because of Spying
The Southern Section’s Executive Committee has recommended that Dick Enright, Capistrano Valley High School’s football coach for seven years, be suspended for the remainder of the 1987 season and the entire 1988 season and that the Cougars forfeit a 22-21 victory over El Toro, Ray Panici, the Cougars’ offensive coordinator, said Wednesday night.
Panici said he learned of the sanctions from Eric Patton, the school’s defensive coordinator, after a nine-hour evidentiary hearing in Buena Park Wednesday. The recommendations were made to officials of the Saddleback Unified School District.
Southern Section Commissioner Stan Thomas said a press release would be issued at 8 a.m. today.
If the district follows the recommendations, Enright will not be allowed to participate in any of the football team’s activities. The forfeit means that the Cougars, the top-ranked team in Orange County with a 9-0 record, will fall to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in South Coast League play. El Toro will improve to 7-2 and 3-1.
Earlier, Enright told the committee that an acquaintance, Mark Donohoo, a former El Toro football player, videotaped an El Toro practice and screened the 10-minute tape on Enright’s home television on the Tuesday before the teams’ game on Friday, Oct. 30.
This violates rule 522 of the California Interscholastic Federation bylaws, which reads: “Motion pictures, video reproduction and/or any other type of reproduction such as still pictures shall not be taken for scouting purposes in any sport by a representative, official or unofficial, of a Southern Section school in which his/her team member is a not a participant, without written consent of the participating schools.”
Donohoo testified that he taped the practice on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from his father’s camper parked along Serrano Road, about 50 yards from the Chargers’ practice field. He later telephoned Enright and told him, “I have something that may help you.”
Donohoo, an instructor at a Laguna Hills martial arts studio, appeared at the hearing after earlier refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the incident. Donohoo said he met Enright at a therapy center two years ago and described him as “a good friend.”
Donohoo said he had watched three Capistrano Valley football games from the Cougars’ sidelines, but he denied having any contact with Enright before he visited him on Oct. 27 with the tape.
When asked what provoked Donohoo to film his alma mater’s practice session, he said, “That’s a question I’m going to have to live with. I was bored with nothing to do.”
Donohoo told the committee he left Enright’s home with the tape on Tuesday evening. He told Enright he planned to film El Toro’s practice session on Wednesday afternoon, the day he was caught by El Toro school officials, who later reported the incident to the Southern Section office.
Bob Johnson, El Toro football coach, testified that Donohoo was caught after a telephone tip came from Jeff Jacquot, an Orange County sheriff’s deputy. Johnson said Jacquot called him that morning and warned him about a camper parked near the school’s practice field. Jacquot said that while on a routine investigation, he had overheard a man in a bar talking about his son “spying on El Toro.”
“The guy called me out of the blue,” Johnson said. “He told me he used to be an assistant at Saddleback High, and the ethics of the whole situation didn’t sit well with him, so he decided to call me.
“I walked out to our practice field at noon, and there was a camper-van parked near our field. I informed our athletic director (John Johansen) of what happened, and when practice started, he approached the van and caught the guy red-handed.”
El Toro school officials later reported the incident to Thomas, who began an investigation the next day. Meanwhile, Donohoo telephoned Enright that evening and told him he had been caught.
“I was naive about the whole thing,” Donohoo said, when asked why he refused to cooperate in the subsequent investigation. “I thought this was just a minor thing . . . the worse that could happen was a slap on the hand or perhaps a forfeit. Now, I realize this is a major thing.”
Enright, who has coached on the high school, college and professional level, said he repeatedly lied throughout the subsequent investigation about his relationship with Donohoo until Tuesday, Nov. 10, when he met with Donohoo and Tom Anthony, Capistrano Valley principal.
“My mistake was not hanging up on him (Donohoo) when he first called me or locking the front door before he came over,” Enright said. “I certainly didn’t think he was coming over to show me something.
“I was on the telephone with a reporter and he walked in and set up the VCR in the next room to my TV. The next thing I knew, he was showing me an El Toro football practice.”
Asked if it ever occurred to Enright that he should stop the film, he said: “I don’t know. I wish I would have. That 20 minutes of my life was a bad mistake. For 15 or 20 minutes, I didn’t use my head, and this is what I’ll be remembered for.”
Panici said Enright met with his players and staff and told them he would resign if it meant the Cougars would not have to forfeit the game. Enright said his concern for his players was the reason he initially denied the relationship with Donohoo.
“I was frightened and concerned the kids would be hurt by forfeiting the game,” he said. “I was taking moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. I feel I told the truth, but I was a little evasive (in the investigation).”
Attorney Tom Woodruff, counsel for the Saddleback Valley Unified School district, of which El Toro is a member, said in his closing argument that a fundamental code of ethics was breached and his district “is not here as prosecutors, but here as victims.”
Said Woodruff: “Until yesterday, there were a lot of assumptions and circumstantial evidence. El Toro lodged a complaint in good faith. Donohoo and Enright were perpetuating the local version of a Watergate cover-up. Whether they used the information or not is irrelevant.”
Times staff writer Steve Lowery contributed to this story.
CAPISTRANO VALLEY-EL TORO CHRONOLOGY
Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27--Former El Toro football player Mark Donohoo borrows his father’s camper, parks along Serrano Road near El Toro’s practice field and videotapes the Chargers’ practice.
Tuesday evening, Oct. 27--Donohoo telephones Dick Enright, Capistrano Valley coach, and tells him he has something that may help him in the Cougars’ forthcoming game against El Toro. Donohoo arrives at Enright’s home, installs his VCR equipment and shows Enright a 10-minute tape of the Chargers’ practice. Donohoo tells Enright he plans to film El Toro’s practice on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning, Oct. 28--Enright begins telephoning Donohoo “every 15 minutes” in an attempt to discourage him from filming another El Toro practice but fails to reach him. Bob Johnson, El Toro coach, receives a telephone call from Jeff Jacquot, an Orange County sheriff’s deputy, who tells Johnson that while on an investigation, he overheard a man in a bar telling friends that he lent his camper to his son so he could spy on El Toro’s practices.
Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 28--Johnson tells John Johansen, El Toro athletic director, about the telephone conversation with Jacquot and alerts him to watch for a camper parked along Serrano Road. Johnson walks out to the practice field about noon and sees Donohoo’s van parked near the practice field. Johansen and Ed Adams, El Toro’s associate athletic director, find Donohoo in the van taping the Chargers’ practice.
Wednesday evening, Oct. 28--Donohoo telephones Enright and tells him he was caught. Don Walker, El Toro principal, telephones Stan Thomas, Southern Section commissioner, and reports a possible violation.
Thursday morning, Oct. 29--Thomas telephones Tom Anthony, Capistrano Valley principal, and informs him that El Toro has made an allegation against his school involving its preparation for the forthcoming game. Thomas tells Anthony a man named Mark Donohoo was caught taping El Toro’s practices and asks if he is affiliated with Capistrano Valley. He also requests that Anthony gather his coaching staff for a meeting on Friday.
Thursday afternoon, Oct. 29--Anthony asks his coaching staff members if they know Mark Donohoo. All deny that Donohoo has any affiliation with the school. Enright admits he met Donohoo at a therapy clinic but said, “I wouldn’t be able to recognize him.” Anthony returns to his office and receives a telephone call from Donohoo. Anthony asks Donohoo to attend a meeting with Thomas on Friday morning, but Donohoo declines.
Friday morning, Oct. 30--Thomas meets with representatives from El Toro and Capistrano Valley high schools and from the Saddleback Valley and Capistrano Unified school districts. Anthony fails to tell Thomas he had a telephone conversation with Donohoo. Johnson tells Thomas he doesn’t want to play the game, but Thomas directs both schools to continue. Thomas telephones Donohoo and tells him Adams will visit his home. Donohoo later telephones Walker and tells him to “drop the issue, my family doesn’t need the stress.”
Friday afternoon, Oct. 30--Donohoo erases the tape he showed Enright of El Toro’s practice. Donohoo reaffirms to Adams that he will not meet with Thomas. The men argue and Donohoo slams the door on Adams.
Friday evening, Oct. 30--Capistrano Valley defeats El Toro, 22-21, beating the Chargers for the first time in three years.
Monday morning, Nov. 2--The Southern Section’s Executive Council meets in Cerritos to determine if there is enough evidence to schedule an evidentiary hearing based on El Toro’s allegations. Thomas invites Donohoo to the meeting, and he declines. The council decides that the incident merits an investigation and schedules a hearing for Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Tuesday evening, Nov. 10--Anthony meets with Enright and Donohoo. Enright admits Donohoo visited his home with a tape of El Toro’s practice and showed the tape on his television. Enright tells Anthony he lied about his relation with Donohoo because “I was afraid the kids might be hurt by forfeiting the game.”
Wednesday morning, Nov. 11--Enright tells the Executive Council that he was “thinking this is a wonderful way to go out. For 15 or 20 minutes, I didn’t use my head, and this is what I’ll be remembered for.” Donohoo testifies that he thought the incident “was just a minor thing. Now, I realize it’s a major thing.” After nine hours of deliberation, the council adjourns.
Wednesday evening, Nov. 11--Ray Panici, Capistrano Valley offensive coordinator, says the Executive Committee has recommended that Enright be suspended for the remainder of the 1987 season and the entire 1988 season. The committee also recommends that the Cougars forfeit their win over El Toro.