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Football: Santa Margarita has more explaining to do

December 27, 2011 |  9:36 am

Santa Margarita still has some questions to answer regarding two assistant football coaches who  pleaded guilty to marijuana possession charges.

The guilty pleas occurred Sept. 15, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. But parents weren't informed until late last week, and only after the convictions were reported by

How long did Coach Harry Welch know about the charges? How long did the school know about the charges? Why did neither Welch nor the school decide it was important enough to tell parents immediately?

This was no mere case of adults caught smoking marijuana. Authorities reported finding a marijuana-growing operation in the garage of the home where the two assistant coaches were living.

Sean Coen and Robert Hendricks were key members of the Santa Margarita coaching staff. Was the mistake they made grounds for dismissal? Santa Margarita decided the answer was no and kept the decision secret.

If parents are satisfied with that, then it's time to move on. But others are wondering what role football played, given that Santa Margarita went on to win a Pac-5 Division championship and CIF bowl game. That hasn't been addressed by Welch or anyone else at Santa Margarita.

-- Eric Sondheimer