I'm really confused about what this article was about. It didn't really state
what happened with Coach Wong, just that the community supports him.
Could you have been more vague if you had tried?Perhaps a poster
could explain what this was all about since the reporters have utterly failed.
To try to answer the first two comments, I understand that behind the scenes the
superintendent and the principal wanted to remove Coach Wong from his coaching
job at Timpview because he spear-headed fund raising which far out-stripped
other organizations and the other Provo District high school in providing
amenities and facilities to improve their respective programs. When
this was learned by the community, it angered and upset a number of high profile
people who have supported Timpview, and a move was on to meet the Board of
Education at their meeting to show support for coach, the school, and the
program. It wasn't long before the Provo District took down their facebook
website because of the confusion it was causing. This caused even more anger and
suspicion that something was not kosher and so people wanted to know what was
going on. That resulted in a standing-room only attendance at the Board
Meeting.If this is the end of the problem, all is well and everyone
should benefit from the discussion and decisions made...IF this is the end!
reading the other comments it is good to know I'm not the only one who has no
idea of what that article was about.
I'll try. A new principal is chosen from out of state by member(s) of the School
District, this guy was hand picked because of his ...... style.He
comes in all full of himself and decides he's going to change Timpview to more
accurately represent, well, him.This includes downgrading Timpview
Football. He then tells everybody that all money raised for Football will be
distributed evenly across every other club and sport at Timpview. Single donors
who give large sums of money SPECIFICALLY to build improvements to the field and
weightroom. (so very cool that someone spends their OWN money on improvements at
a PUBLIC High School IMO)ANyway, new guy wants to move all the
weights out of the new room and make it another classroom. Typical myopic
"educator" pushing his own agenda. Tells Wong he can
either like it or be replaced.....Any questions?
Here is my take on it, Mr. Wong, not being your typical public employee (ie
bureacratic, worried about preserving your job vs. excelling at it, imaginative,
born leader) decided to be out in front as a leader looking to create something
special for the kids at his school. (a great thing)... the bureacrats (school
district employees) look at this and his success and say wait a minute, somebody
excelling, thinking outside of the box... whoa buddy this is the public sector
not the private sector... reign it in.Kinda like Orwell's Animal
Farm... kinda makes you wonder
Totally agree that this ISN'T the end of this 'battle'. Those at the
District/School that have 'lost' this one will just wait in the shadows for
their next opportunity. Look for this issue to be revisited often in the future.
People REALLY need to look and see who is behind this stuff and make
a change in upcoming elections. School District Elections are FAR more important
to us locally than any Presidential election ever is as far as direct impact.The dumb part of this is it's not like School Districts are so rich they
can pay for every school's desires. You would think they would welcome the fact
that people in the community are directly enriching the
opportunities/experiences of every kid that goes there for the foreseeable
future..... at NO cost to the District.Wow, talk about a win/win
Well, that's 3 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
Something that appears to have been overlooked is the possible Title IX
violation of a sport or booster club fundraising excessive amounts of money at
the expense of the other activities.
springville,I am sure all teams, and regular classes of gym, are
welcome to use the weightroom. The Turf on the field is also used everyday by
gym classes. (since it isn't real grass it's even able to be used MORE) This is NOT a limitation of access, no Title IX violation here.Now if you want to be mad that every team doesn't get new jerseys every couple
of years then tell the other teams to feel free to fundraise and buy them for
theirselves. Novel concept, eh?
SLCguy; Looks like you have never read the Title IX rules on
fundraising. Has nothing to do with limiting access.
Springville: Just FYI from google search: Title IX of the Educational
Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in
schools, whether it be in academics or athletics. Title IX states:
"No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from
participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination
under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid."
Helping others is true Christianity.
What is going on in provo my friends? First Jake Heaps transfers and now this?
My heavens, how does the superintendent there try to tarnish and ruin the
reputation of one of the greatest teachers of young men that Utah county has
ever seen? He must have been cut from his high school football team and is now
wanting revenge. From my good friend's there at BYU I hear that Coach Wong is
one hard working, honest amigo who has busted his tail to change the landscape
at his high school and has successfully done so. So why haven't others in the
state worked this hard to create local support and raise money for their schools
I wonder? So cool to see that things apparently worked out. Back to the
gameday truck for me and a nap...
I love it SLCGuy and podunk utah! You hit the nail right on the head; contrary
to the soft approach I took. Many educators try to do more than the
establishment will allow with their own funds or their own ideas and are
squelched by the administrations because the administrations are
"threatened" by the educator thinking outside the box as Coach Wong
(and many others) do. Many times we are told to sit in the corner and keep out
mouths shut and not fight city hall, but that's not what life is all about. If
there aren't a few "rebels" who can think for themselves, we'll all
turn into robots and wear grey clothes and live in similar circumstances as too
many third-world citizens do. The person who is willing to try to make life
better for himself/herself will help everyone around him/her. Kudos to SLCGuy
and podunk utah!!!
RD1025, how is the success of the football teams fundraising in any way limiting
what other clubs or teams at the school receive? If these boosters want to give
money specifically for football so be it, it's not like they would've given it
to the girls softball team otherwise. Good for Coach Wong, he's a great
coach and leader for the young men at Timpview, is fair with them and is a good
man, what kind of people must they be to want to get rid of him? It takes
a little man (or people) in big shoes to try and take down someone as good as
Coach Wong is, it's too bad this new principal and committee members seem to
feel inferior and that it's necessary to pull someone down to thier own level to
make themselves feel validated.
Three issues here, other than whether Coach Wong is a good guy or not or has
done a lot for Timpview High. That really shouldn't be the focus here. And
there's nothing wrong with the citizens (or an audit or investigation) wanting
to know the facts.1) Did he use all the money raised by the football
program for its intended purpose, or were there some careless or questionable
expenditures?2) Did Timpview High and Provo School District have
clear guidelines in place on fundraising and expenditure of donated funds?3) Does Timpview High and Provo School District need better guidelines
and policies to ensure more accountability for funds raised by athletic
programs?And don't think it's a good idea for any school, district
or program to just have free reign to raise money for anything and everything,
and or the freedom to spend money without accountability. Even Wong admits that.
I'm still trying to figure this out...thanks to the very poor reporting.It's being suggested here, by posters, that Randy Merrill wants coach
Wong fired for raising more money for THS football than the rest of the
district.That charge begs a lot of questions that would be better
answered by a reporter than a poster. However, since the reporters are not
doing their job, the posters are filling in for them.Here are my
questions:1) What are the fundraising figures?2) What is Randy
Merrill's agenda?3) Was coach Wong accused of any wrong doing?4) How
are the donated funds managed and accounted for?5) Has the fundraising
been on the up and up? For example, are rules being followed? Are donors being
misled...told that the donation is for the school only to have the funds
directed at the football team?6) Can a position on the football team be
bought?While it is nice that donations are made to THS football and
that the benefit spills over to other areas, it is troubling that donors don't
equally support academics. I can also see how the "money for
football" could lead to corruption.
The District again is trying to exercise their control over anyone they can. The
new principal at Timpview will lose everything accomplished at that school if he
isnt careful. Not all students go on to college for solely academic reasons,
some actually go on to make successful careers in sports. So why not have
facilities to help them if at no cost to the District? Maybe the District should
promote the coach or make him superintendent, he will probably do a better job
with finances then they do. If someone was to donate some money for a building
strictly for science or even for music, do you think anyone would complain? What
about donations to the Provo City Library? Should the city have insisted that
the money be distributed among all city departments instead? About our local
universities (public and private), dont they use fund-raising to help support
their various programs, including sports? It is just getting ridiculous in the
Provo School District. I find it refreshing to hear of people willing to give
back to their community, but they shouldnt be told how to do it! Lighten up
Provo School District before you are replaced.
Ok, so here's what happened...#1 The former Timpview principal was
forced into retirement before he wanted to.#2 The Assist-Principal, who
was very popular, was rejected by superintendent Randy Merrill in favor of the
new one, from Oregon. The rejected Assist-Principal goes on to become Alta
High's new principal.. So nice call Provo!!! Guy wasn't "qualified"
enough for your school yet was somehow qualified for one of the best jobs in the
state at Alta?#3 As soon as the new guy takes over, he is bullied by
superintendent Randy Merrill to intimidate and bully coach Wong. He threatens to
fire coach wong unless all money raised by the football team is turned over to
the district office. Gee, so so Mr. Merrill can give himself a pay raise or
build himself a new office? Coach Wong has and continues to give, money
raised in football to other sports. Buying uniforms, equipment, and even raised
$200k to fix a safety issue on the field that the district didn't want to
fix.#4 Coach Wong refuses, and the district takes legal action to have him
removed.... The community catches wind of this, and shows up last night.
Exactly what Romorg said. He has good points. Nothing wrong with having those
questions answered, doesn't mean someone's on a witch hunt. All valid questions
and concerns."Here are my questions:1) What are the
fundraising figures?2) What is Randy Merrill's agenda?3) Was coach
Wong accused of any wrong doing?4) How are the donated funds managed and
accounted for?5) Has the fundraising been on the up and up? For example,
are rules being followed? Are donors being misled...told that the donation is
for the school only to have the funds directed at the football team?6) Can
a position on the football team be bought?While it is nice that
donations are made to THS football and that the benefit spills over to other
areas, it is troubling that donors don't equally support academics. I can also
see how the "money for football" could lead to corruption. "
I have full sympathy for Wong, but this is certainly not the only Utah school
where teachers and administrators seem to go out of their way to make life
difficult for football coaches and boosters, even though football is a cash cow
that feeds other programs.At one school the football coaches and
boosters raised 100% of the funds for a new field. Soccer teams and marching
band specifically declined to participate in fund raising. When soccer coach
was approached about help with fund raising he actually said, "Why should
I? We'll still get to use the field." He was dead right. Principal
later informed the football coach that soccer and band would have equal say in
layout and scheduling. You expect that in the old Soviet Union, but here?
"1) What are the fundraising figures?"I'm not sure..."2) What is Randy Merrill's agenda?"To absorb all
fundraising money and to have control over it. To give himself a raise? To use
it to build a new office for himself? To redistribute it the way he wants? So
why should the football or soccer team pay for stuff the district should pay
for? Why should the district have control over raised funds when all they do is
sit in their offices? Get up, stop sitting around and collecting monster checks,
and fund raise yourselves!This whole issue is over power. Also, it should be known that no other coach in the district has been asked to
turn over all their funds to the district. Only coach Wong. He's obviously being
targeted by superintendent with an agenda."3) Was coach Wong
accused of any wrong doing?"Yes. He was threatened with his job
for not turning over all the funds to the district. Private donors were also
harassed by the district in attempts to dig something up. A few influential
businessmen from various construction companies and Nuskin got up and expressed
their anger towards the district regarding this harassment. "4)
How are the donated funds managed and accounted for?"By the
coaches together with athletic dept and principal. Just as with any other school
in any other district in this state. Really folks, this isn't that hard. Your
team raises money? You use that money. "5) Has the fundraising
been on the up and up? For example, are rules being followed? Are donors being
misled...told that the donation is for the school only to have the funds
directed at the football team?"Donors are told exactly what the
money will be used for. One horrific story to come out last night was when the
parents of a student athlete told the sad story of their son who suffered an
injury on the field. He lost his sight for 3 months. After 18 months now, he is
finally able to withstand a half day of school. A study was later
done on the field and it was determined that the field lacked safety measures.
This was brought up to Randy Merrill and the rest of the district's
leadership, and they essentially said, "Sorry, but we're not paying for the
safety measures."Well, coach Wong got wind of this, got off his
butt (unlike the district who continued to sit around and complain), and got
involved in the community. He called up donors and explained to them the safety
concerns. The Community in turn, showed more concern over the field and
students' safety than the district. They raised the money and quickly had the
field fixed.This continued to anger district leadership as their own
lack of accountability and ambition was made very apparent with coach Wong's
ability to get out and fix the field."6) Can a position on the
football team be bought?"Not any more than any other team.Looking at the results, I don't think Timpview is playing donor's sons
ahead of better players. How else would you explain their success?
@ the real maverickYou were just kidding with your post right? You
don't expect anyone to read that do you? P.S. don't recommend your own post,
seems needy.IMO Wong deserves it, getting his come uppens for past
"While it is nice that donations are made to THS football and that the
benefit spills over to other areas, it is troubling that donors don't equally
support academics. I can also see how the "money for football" could
lead to corruption. "Odiedodie, since the math teacher or band
directors job is not being called into question, the support given for the
benefit of academic programs may never be known, but it is assumed that the
taxes paid by people living in the school district have to be used for
something. Now they can be used for academic programs instead of upgrading
facilities to improve safety and prevent future lawsuits resulting from their
Part of the reason reporters aren't giving any details is because of privacy
issues details aren't being disclosed.1) What are the fundraising
figures?How much was raised should be irrelevant. The only valid question
is if they are being raised and used correctly.To my knowledge there
are no official policies or guidelines at the district level. Randy Merrill had
a committee create fundraising guidelines based on other successful districts.
When it didn't give him the power he wanted he threw it.
Sounds like sour grapes, Amanap. I did read the post and found it very
enlightening. And I do recommend it to others! What's this about
recruiting violations. When was the last time a student-athlete from Timpview
went before the UHSAA and was denied eligibility? Get your facts
straight before you throw stones or point fingers. I get the feeling that you're
looking for something to complain about because Coach Wong could go anywhere in
the US and benefit a program or another school. He might even enjoy the warmth
of Southern Utah if that's what you're begging for him to do. Let's
let it rest until or if we have all the facts. I still vote for Wong vs.
Merrill and McKee.
Is the money donated to Timpview Football donated to the team or to a foundation
set up in the name of the team?If it is donated to the team then it
should be under the purview of the High School & District. If it is under a
"foundation" then it is under the control of whoever is the director
of said foundation. This type of fundraising structure has been used in many
high schools in the state (Weber County School district has shut down this type
of fundraising structure). The problem with the foundation system is
that the director may pay him/herself from the funds intended for the team.I am not saying this is what happened, but it would be nice to have
answers. We will not know any more for a while. School districts
have strict privacy rules in place to protect them and the accused. If
information is to get out, it is usually up to the accused to tell their
story.I am sure when Wong talks he will clear up an
misunderstandings and continue building the best football program south of SLC.
Even though it was fiction, it reminds me of the TV Series Friday Night Lights.
The boosters raised money specifically for a 'jumbo-tron' scoreboard. The
principal decided that the money would be better used for textbooks, etc. and
made the decision to use the funds in that way. Of course that angered the
boosters, etc. On the show the principal was within her rights to do so but
didn't make anyone happy.I agree with others on this post that the
community raised the money for the football program and it should be used as
amanap, I really enjoyed The Real Maverik's explanation and opinion - sorry it
was too long for you. One of the advantages of an education is that it teaches
you to read long and involved passages for content and understanding. I salute
Maverik for breaking his text down into easily accessible paragraphs. As for voting for his own post - I wasn't aware that you could look that up.
How did you find out? Or did he? He had five recommendations already when I
added mine, so I'm not sure he is one of them. Also, accusing
someone of wrong-doing (recruiting violations) could put you in a position of
being charged with libel. You might want to tone that down. I have lived locally
here since before Wong became head coach and have heard nothing along that line.
@Maverick Thank you for your response. Some of it was informative, some
of it was opinion based on emotions...which is why I suggested these questions
are better answered by a reporter but I do appreciate what you shared.@mab93Yes, theoretically the amount is not relevant in the sense
that wrong is wrong whether it's 10 bucks or 1 million. However, knowing the
figures puts the story in it's proper context. If we were talking 10 bucks
there would be no policy needed and certainly there would be no power struggle
and no meeting.As for privacy issues, that is no excuse for this
sloppy of an article. The meeting was apparently called to discuss the new
policies concerning fundraising but somehow the article never discussed the
policies nor gave us the outcome of the meeting, except in regard to coach Wong.
The article does not tell us how the meeting turned into an issue of coach
Wong's job. If he was accused of wrong doing what were the accusations and who
was accusing him? Short of stealing, why would coach Wong's job be in jeopardy
for violating a policy that didn't exist?
@OsgrathJust to catch you up, Timpview and Wong have long been the
discussion of recruiting violations and Wong actually served a short suspension
a couple of years ago. However, that is not what this article is about. This
is about fund raising, fund raising policies, and apparently coach Wong's
job.Personally, I think it is a very complex and tricky issue. For
instance, if a few large donors give 500K to the school for football and all
other donations to the school add up to 20K who do you think has the power at
that school, the principal or the football coach/boosters?Perhaps
this is why Randy Merrill replaced the principal and charged the new hire to
change the environment. I have had dealings with both RM and LW but I'm a
friend of neither. I like LW but can't stand RM, but those are just my personal
feelings and I don't fault RM for wanting a school with a football team rather
than a football team with a school attached to it. There should be a well
thought out policy to protect the donors, the school, the district and the
@fender"Principal later informed the football coach that soccer and
band would have equal say in layout and scheduling. You expect that in the old
Soviet Union, but here?"Wow, how many times could one be wrong
in two sentences?1- the Soviet Union wasn't exactly an equal say
country2- By "not here," do you mean the attention to and
resources devoted to athletics could not be disproportional in The US as they
were in the USSR where athletes were idolized and compensated significantly
better than regular people?
That is some terrible reporting. Pretty sure you missed the entire point of
NEWS when you write something with the assumption that everyone reading it
already knows what is going on. That seriously needs to be taken down, and be
rewritten. When most of your readers get to the end of your article and go
"Wait... what?" you really dropped the ball.Glad to see
Wong got supported though. Good man, good coach. Politics can be a disgusting
@romorgFor very small amounts, the amount doesn't matter, but I
don't think there is much difference even between $1000 and $10 million. The
bigger issue is what evidence is there that specific rules were broken, and what
were the circumstances that they were broken under.The meeting was a
standard board meeting and wasn't called for that specific purpose. The people
spoke during the section for public input for items not on the agenda. There was
an item afterwards to present the draft of the fundraising policy, but I don't
think that was the reason everyone came out. They came out because they were
suspicions that he might be fired so someone rallied people to publicly support
him. Neither the board nor Coach Wong have made any statements about any details
to my knowledge, I imagine for legal reasons.
Osgrath: I really like Coach Wong. He is a great coach. However, he
has been sanctioned by the UHSAA twice, suspended and ordered to pay a fine.
This is actually well known. To Wong's credit, and much like what was reported
here, he took some of the criticism to heart, accepted accountability and went
on winning lots of games. But facts are facts.As for the Timpview
football faithful. Perhaps they need to tone down their donations. The football
program has enough IMO. I think there are a lot of needs at Timpview, and
certainly at its sister school, where monies could be used. Though it certainly
can't be forced, nor should it, I would like to see some of these people with
means donate to help other areas of financial need. I know it's popular to jump
on the bandwagon and sponsor the Timpview football program and put a banner up
in the endzone, but maybe, just a suggestion here, that maybe an anonymous
donation for a greater need would be even cooler.
Amanap...I read it.
@romorgYou had the best written piece in here. Your both educated and
opinionated and yet logical in your responses. Well done!!!
rationalHey, you're absolutely right. That wasn't a great
reference. I was thinking "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach
seinen Bedürfnissen!". But, that was Marx, not the Soviet Union. Nice
I don't think we are able to pass judgement on anyone until the facts are
presented. I must say it makes the school district look silly. Maybe this will
inspire the Deseret News to do a little bit of digging?
Have we opened a can of worms here? If Wong was sanctioned and paid the penalty,
then that is water under the bridge and all is well in Zion. Let him who is
without sin cast the first stone. Finished, done, kaput, let's let it be put to
rest unless there is another story with facts and a need for further
investigation. A lot of good suggestions in the comments...maybe something good
will come of it. But let's keep a civil head about ourselves and get on with
academics and athletics co-existing. Amen.
The real question is why are some of these administrators (one with a known and
public affair while on school grounds) are allowed to bring about acusations
without any proof.
While I respect LaVell and SRC, let's be careful to not diefy Coach Wong..., he
has not earned it.Is this situation really any different from any
other sport or football team that has experienced tremendous success--and then
the Coach starts to believe he is ABOVE reproach and cannot be touched by
Administrators and those who he works for?There is no doubt that
he's been successful on the field--but no success on the field can compensate
for failures in dealing respectfully with all people. I've had personal
encounters with Coach Wong, and have found him to be less than
"beloved", but rather opinionated, stubborn and hard to deal with at
times.Even Coach Wong's statements admit that he should be less
"selfish", that he was "left to do things his way" and needs
to correct the way he does things. For him to publicly state that is
commendable, now it's time for him to do it and show that he's a man of his
word.It's also up to the Principal (who IMO earned an "F"
for not providing any clarifying comments to reporters) to show if he can
cooperatively work with Coach Wong & his efforts.
Utah sports at it's best! Help me out, here. In California, you can have a doner
donate a contribution to a school. A former high school football player from
"back in the day" actually donated $1M to fully renovate the football
field, etc. Escondido High School (a lower socio-econ. area) now has one of the
top football stadiums in San Diego County. Also, the Junior Seau Foundation
donated funds for a new weight room at Oceanside High School, his alma mater.
With the amount of highly successful alumni from Timpview, do Utah
"rules" allow such contributions where you don't have to worry about
No excuses for such awful jounalism. At least Ms. Donaldson helped her partner
with grammar, word choice, and punctuation. But the article was completely
vague. Forgive me...I'm a little cranky, having just graded about 50 research
papers for my Freshman Comp class. And, the Stephen Covey mentioned
in the article was not SRC, but his son, Stephen M.R. Covey. Simply because of
Stephen, and his role in this incident, I take Coach Wong's side. I trust
Stephen as one of the finest men I've known and worked with. If he says coach
Wong is a good guy, he's a good guy!
I find it interesting in a state where the lawmakers want to make teacher pay
based on performance that I see a story like this. Caoch Wong has been
successful on and off the field. I say if you want to have a good program, the
other sports need to work as hard as he does. In many states, athletic programs
are being cut to the point where there may be no more after school sports.
Let's not penalize people who are exceptional, but incourage excellence. It's
this the beehive state way?
Coach Wong is an honorable man and it's funny that when someone he's helped with
their career wants to donate a sizable amount of cash the principal steps in and
wants to share the wealth with the other programs in the school? That's why
there's different clubs, sports, and activities. I wonder if ALL sports and
clubs and the band, need to share the wealth not just the football team. How
fair is that? The law of consecration has started, is it time to pack the wagon
and move to Missouri? I wonder if the principal is going to split the book fair
I think there is something Wong about this whole situation!
@coach hines - poor tasteProvo District is unique in that it is
based upon shared governance. I think there is more to it than just the super
and the principal. Good for Timpview for having a coach that works
to build and sustain a dynasty. Good for him in tapping into the resources of
his community, without selling his integrity. There is another model in the
Salt Lake Valley, Cottonwood. Mr. Merrill, be grateful it is what it is in your
district.PHealy: it's "you're" not "your"
Don't correct peoples grammar on a silly little comment section. Makes you look
like a arrogant snob.