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Bid to Reinstate Scyphers as Coach Denied by Judge

May 12, 1994|JEFF FLETCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VENTURA — A bid by parents to reinstate Mike Scyphers as Simi Valley High baseball coach was rejected Wednesday in Ventura County Superior Court.

Judge John J. Hunter denied the request for a temporary restraining order, saying the parents have no standing in the case, according to Lawrence Trygstad, the attorney representing the parents.

"He said if the coach wants his position back he should be here asking for it," Trygstad said.

Trygstad said he and Scyphers' attorney, Brian O'Neill, discussed the possibility of refiling the request with Scyphers included as a plaintiff. Trygstad said should Scyphers choose that option, another hearing would be sought by Friday, the final day of the regular season.

Simi Valley clinched a Southern Section Division I playoff berth Wednesday with a victory over Agoura.

"Obviously, I'm very disappointed," Scyphers said, adding that he believes problems with his program could have been addressed after the season. "It's very difficult to comprehend this whole ordeal."

Scyphers said he is unsure whether he will seek another court date.

The Pioneers have played three games since last Tuesday, when Scyphers, 41, was suspended pending police and district investigations into possible financial and disciplinary improprieties.

Also on Wednesday, a group of about 15 parents who support Scyphers met with Supt. Mary Beth Wolford, Simi Valley High Principal Kathryn Scroggin, board members Doug Crosse and Judy Barry and Director of Secondary Education Leslie Crunelle at the district office. The meeting lasted about 50 minutes.

"We didn't get a whole heck of a lot accomplished," said Kathy Kozlowski, the mother of senior Kary Kozlowski. "We were trying to focus on getting the coach back on the field and that just doesn't seem like it's going to work because the police investigation isn't done."

Lt. Mark Layhew of the Simi Valley police department said the investigation will last another week to 10 days.

The parents also repeated their concern to the district about their children being interviewed by police last week at school without parental consent and without a school official present, Kozlowski said.

A school district press release issued Wednesday stated that school officials remain concerned about Scyphers' admissions of violating district rules by accepting money for use of the Simi Valley High baseball field and his disciplinary practice of having players bid for the right to paddle teammates who violate team rules.

The release read in part: "Because of the serious nature of the allegations in this matter, the school district believes that it is in the best interests of all parties to continue Mr. Scyphers' paid administrative leave from his coaching duties pending the outcome of the complete investigation."

Barry sympathized with the frustration of the parents and players, but said the school is acting properly.

"I do feel the administration has acted appropriately and the board is supporting our administration in the steps they've taken," she said. "I'm not sure (the parents) really understand what's happening and the process we need to go through."

Staff writers Julie Fields and Mike Hiserman contributed to this story.

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