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NOTEBOOK : Ex-Locke High Coach to Protest 1-Year Suspension

August 15, 1993|CHARLES SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Former Locke High Coach Michael Jackson will attend a grievance meeting with school officials Tuesday to protest a one-year suspension for alleged rules violations.

Locke Principal Ed Robbs and Assistant Principal Russ Thompson suspended Jackson, who coached the varsity baseball team for six years and the basketball team for five, for one academic year for allowing two academically ineligible athletes to play in a baseball game.

Nicholas Orozco and Jay Johnson were declared academically ineligible a day before a game against first-place South Gate, but Jackson allowed them to play. Jackson, who filed his grievance in July, said the suspension was unfair because coaches at other schools found to have allowed ineligible players in games are often given the option of forfeiting the game.

"I had never allowed an ineligible player to play in a game before in my 13 years as a Locke coach," Jackson said. "The kids felt they had been shafted and that the administration didn't really care about them. At most, I thought the game would be forfeited."

Robbs and Thompson declined comment.

Jackson also said he was angered because he cooperated with school officials when asked to add the baseball coaching job to his basketball coaching duties when former Coach Frank Budda was transferred to Bravo Medical Magnet at the end of the 1990 season. Jackson had served as baseball coach from 1988 to 1990 and began coaching basketball when Budda took over.

"We didn't have a coach and I couldn't deny the kids an opportunity," Jackson said. "The baseball team felt as if no one cared about them because no one attended games and a coach couldn't be found."

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Riot relief--The Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles has awarded grants totaling $45,433 to six local organizations that offer sports opportunities to youngsters and that were particularly hard hit by the 1992 riots.

The grants come from a special $1-million fund created by the foundation's board in July, 1992, to assist such organizations in riot-torn areas. So far, the foundation has awarded $547,594 from the fund to 35 organizations.

The Greater Los Angeles Youth Basketball Academy received an $11,655 grant to assist it in organizing basketball programs for about 140 youngsters ages 10 to 15 in South-Central, Crenshaw and the city of Compton.

Academy activities take place at Jim Gilliam Recreation Center, Gompers Junior High School, Fremont High School and Manual Arts High School.

Para Los Ninos, a nonprofit resource center that provides services for homeless and transient families with children in Central Los Angeles and the Skid Row area, was awarded a $10,778 grant to form a sports program that will include basketball, volleyball, flag football and soccer for children in its client families. The center serves 300 to 400 youths ages 6 to 18.

The Coalition of Brothers and Sisters Unlimited, created in 1990 to stop gang violence by providing alternative activities, received an $8,000 grant to buy karate uniforms and floor mats for its martial arts program, conducted in partnership with the county Probation Department. The martial arts activities take place at Manual Arts High School and serve about 200 inner-city youths.

The Midtown Bowling Center, offering instruction and a competitive league in bowling for 160 youths ages 4 to 18, received a $5,000 grant. The grant was the second awarded to the bowling center by the Amateur Athletic Foundation, which cited the center's success and popularity with area youngsters.

The grants, announced Aug. 6, are in addition to the regular ongoing financial assistance given throughout the year by the foundation to Southern California sports and youth organizations.

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