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Memo to district: Goosen has to go

TULLY TALK

Those heading down Glenoaks Boulevard just south of Magnolia might

catch a whiff of a foul odor emanating from the vicinity of Burbank

High gymnasium.

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The stench is the remnant of a boys’ basketball program left dead

and rotting by a Bulldog coach who has embarrassed the school, the

community and left a great deal of unsavory allegations hovering over

Burbank.

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The architect of the mess is Coach David Goosen. In less than 10

months, Goosen has turned the Bulldog boys’ program into the laughing

stock of the CIF Southern Section. Goosen has been linked to CIF

violations and has been accused of breaking school and district rules

since coming to the school.

It’s time to stop the bleeding.

The Burbank Unified School District has to pull the trigger and

fire Goosen. Not only should he be permanently relieved of his

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coaching duties -- he was placed on administrative leave Dec. 10 --

but he should also be terminated from his job as a physical education

teacher.

Burbank doesn’t need an individual like Goosen anywhere near

campus.

A decision about Goosen’s future was expected from the district

Friday. However, that decision has been pushed back until next week.

“We have been unable to complete the investigation,” said Alexis

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Sheehey, BUSD assistant superintendent for instructional services.

“We are trying to set up another interview with [Goosen] on Tuesday

and hopefully get the situation resolved.”

District officials should have enough ammunition to sink Goosen,

and send him packing.

There is no question Goosen is a good coach. When it comes to

fundamentals on the court, he definitely knows what he’s doing and he

has a wealth of basketball knowledge.

Goosen is also a really nice guy. He’s personable and seems to be

a likable person off the court. However, what the coach has been

called on the carpet for is what has transpired off the court during

his watch.

To his credit, Goosen does have the support of some Burbank

players and a cadre of Bulldog parents. However, there is also a

group that is calling for the coach’s head.

The problems began to surface two weeks ago when it was determined

Bulldog senior transfer Kevin Greene falsified enrollment documents

that had been submitted to the school during registration. Some have

speculated that Greene had already used up his high school

eligibility and was actually a senior two seasons ago at Venice High.

As a result, Burbank had to forfeit five nonleague games.

In an unbelievable coincidence, guess who was the head boys’

basketball coach at Venice two years ago? -- Goosen. Isn’t that a

surprise.

Although it might be difficult to link Goosen to the Greene

debacle, the coach should be left accountable for the situation. If

Goosen knew Greene was an illegal player, he should be fired for

that. And if the coach had no idea Greene was ineligible -- which he

claims -- he should be fired for being stupid enough not to inquire

about his former player’s status.

Oh, but there’s more.

Goosen is also accused of violating CIF rules for not sitting out

a game following an ejection from a contest Dec. 26 at a tournament

in Las Vegas. He also violated school and district rules by not

telling the Burbank athletic director about the ejection.

Burbank could be forced to forfeit two more games -- to Bell-Jeff

and San Gabriel -- because Goosen didn’t sit out the required game.

The coach also violated rules when he let an 18-year-old Bulldog

player drive a school van part of the way home from the Las Vegas

tournament.

Answering the allegations, Goosen has an excuse for all three

incidents.

He said he was not involved with any wrongdoing involving the

Greene incident, and is quick to point out he was not put on

administrative leave for the incident. He also claims he didn’t know

he had to sit out a game following the ejection and he let the player

drive the van because he fell ill on the trip.

Any one of these infractions is enough to get Goosen ousted. But

when you add all the incidents together, they should equal a one-way

ticket out of town for the coach.

What is most troubling about the Goosen saga is how the situation

is affecting the Bulldog players. The athletes have been left in

limbo and the team has suffered since the allegations broke.

In their first game Jan. 10 since Goosen was suspended, the

Bulldogs shot just 34% from the floor in a 78-45 Foothill League loss

at home against Saugus.

Tuesday, the team suffered its worst defeat of the season, a 93-34

Foothill League defeat against Hart.

Not only are the players demoralized, but they have to deal with

ridicule and badgering from opponents who look at Burbank as a school

with a coach of questionable character.

Hopefully, the district will do the right thing and give Goosen

his walking papers. The school deserves a clean break and it needs to

put the entire sorted mess behind it.

JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can be

reached at 843-8700, or by e-mail at jeff.tully@latimes.com


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