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Goosen answers allegations

Jeff Tully

Burbank High boys’ basketball Coach David Goosen said he is ready

to defend himself and willing to answer allegations of any wrongdoing

associated with the Bulldog program.

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Goosen, a first-year coach who was put on administrative leave

Friday, met Tuesday morning with Burbank Unified School District

officials to address possible CIF Southern Section and district rules

violations.

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“We met with Mr. Goosen and his father [Tuesday morning], and we

have not yet come to a resolution on the matter,” said Alexis

Sheehey, a district assistant superintendent for instructional

services. “We are hoping to have the matter resolved by Friday.”

Goosen -- who said he has retained an attorney -- has continued to

teach physical education at the school.

Sheehey said the conference was intended as a fact-finding effort,

as well as an opportunity for Goosen to address the allegations.

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Goosen was put on administrative leave from coaching duties

because of allegations surrounding incidents that occurred during a

trip to the Las Vegas Prep Championship tournament Dec. 26 to 30.

One of the incidents took place in a tournament game Dec. 26, in

which Goosen received two personal fouls and was ejected from the

game. Under CIF Southern Section rules, Goosen was required to sit

out the Bulldogs’ next game, which he didn’t.

Goosen also failed to inform the Burbank athletic director of the

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ejection.

The coach said he was unaware of the rule that required him to sit

out the game.

“I’ve been a head coach for five years,” Goosen said. “I was an

assistant at Venice for two years and I was an assistant at [L.A.]

University High School for two years. This is my ninth year total in

coaching, and I have never been kicked out of a game until the Vegas

tournament.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t even think about it, wasn’t aware

of it, and it’s never crossed my path. I never knew, and I was never

told, the fact that if you get kicked out of a game you have to sit

the next game.”

The district is also investigating an incident involving a Burbank

player. On the trip home from Las Vegas to Burbank, Goosen said he

allowed a Bulldog senior to drive a school van part of the way.

“At the time, I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Goosen said. “I

still don’t think it’s a big deal because the kid was 18 years old,

he is a licensed driver, he has his own car and he drives every day

and he is a very responsible kid. And to me, the most important point

of it all is that at all times, he was the car behind us on the road

the whole trip.”

Goosen said the only reason he let the player drive the van was

because he was feeling ill.

“I drove the first about hour, but for that hour I was complaining

to the kids in my van ‘Man, I have a headache. I’m not feeling well

and I’m nauseous.’ So an hour in, I was just thinking about the

safety of the kids, having me drive while I was feeling like that. I

didn’t feel it was safe for me to drive.”

The coach said many of the details about the incidents in Las

Vegas have been relayed by the parent of a Burbank player. Goosen

said the parent has expressed displeasure at the amount of playing

time his son has received from the coach.

“This disgruntled parent has tried to cause problems and has tried

to make my life miserable,” he said. “He is really behind the reason

why a lot of these things have come to light.”

The incidents surrounding the Las Vegas tournament have come to

light a week after Burbank had to forfeit five nonleague games when

it was discovered a player falsified enrollment documents.

The player, Kevin Greene, a 5-foot-11 guard who transferred to

Burbank from Venice High, was determined to be an ineligible player

who participated in five boys’ varsity basketball contests between

Dec 4 and 13.

Goosen coached Greene at Venice two seasons ago.

“The Greene stuff is not even an issue right now,” Goosen said.

“To prove that everybody believes I had nothing to do with it, I’m

not being suspended for that. Right now, this administrative leave is

to deal with these two other issues from Las Vegas.

“As far as I’m aware, the Kevin Greene issue is done.”

Although Goosen was in the stands Friday to watch the Bulldogs

lose their Foothill League opener to Saugus, 78-45, he was not in

attendance on Tuesday when Burbank hosted Hart. Goosen said he was

not told by the district that he couldn’t be at the Saugus game.

However, Sheehey said the coach was instructed to stay away from

Tuesday’s contest.

“I don’t want to stay away, but I have been banned from the game,”

Goosen said.

“The reason why I came to the game on Friday is that I wanted to

show support for my players,” he said. “But most importantly, I

wanted to kind of show people that my showing up made a statement

that I am innocent, I haven’t done anything and I have nothing to

hide.”

While at the game, Goosen said Bulldog players and parents

approached him, lending their support.

Throughout his ordeal, Goosen said he has received a great deal of

support and encouragement from the program’s players and parents.

“Virtually every one of the kids on my team has come up to me and

said things like ‘Coach, we believe in you. We believe you’re

innocent. We know you’re a good coach. You’re the guy that we want to

be coaching us and we support you 100%,’ ” he said.

One parent who believes in Goosen is Juliet Hyde-White, mother of

Bulldog starter Kamen Lane.

“I think he is a very good coach and I think it has been terrible

the things that have been said about him,” she said. “It is a shame

what is happening to him.

“He has really been able to bring the players together as a team.”


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