K-Town Hoops Squad Sunk

Koen Samuel, Assistant Editor

Reasons for resignations can vary, but it feels like those that occur during the school year have a heightened sense of urgency and reason behind them. This was the case when on the morning of Friday, February 21, varsity basketball coach Randall Durant resigned from his coaching duties in lieu of parent complaints he was “bullying his players.” These accusations were kept under wraps and were only known to the public after Durant resigned. 

According to CBS 11 News, initial reports were filed in as early of January, and there were as many as 20 potential victims who were subjected to “severe verbal abuse.” Parents cited effects as “anxiety attacks, eating disorders, and the need to see therapists.” They summarized Durant’s management of the team as “startling.” 

This news came completely out of the blue. Durant, who led the program to the 2017 UIL State Championships, was successful as the varsity basketball coach, winning multiple district titles as well as having a hand in some players who eventually went on to play at the college level, such as TCU guard RJ Nembhard. This year the team looked poised to make a playoff run. 

The reason for his resignation caused mix reactions from the public. Some parents of former players expressed support for Durant, vouching for his character. Some questioned what is “considered as bullying,” given the fact that high school coaches can be tough on players. Others questioned the mental fortitude of the players, claiming that “this generation is too soft.” 

Durant still remains employed by Keller ISD, and is still teaching at school. This causes me to come to two conclusions. The first, that coaching and teaching are held completely separate. Sure, high school coaches might have two personalities, one in the class room and one on the field or court, but it seems as though the alleged incidents that happened with the team won’t impede his ability to continue teaching. The second conclusion being that whatever he said or did wasn’t severe enough for the district to take action and remove him from his job altogether. 

Perhaps Durant could’ve kept his job and rode out the parent pressure and prepared for the playoffs. But it raises the question as to at what point the school or the district would’ve stepped in. Nevertheless, after Durant resigned, Assistant Coach Ryan Speaks was named the head coach for the playoffs, with less than a week to prepare. 

The team got off to a slow start and eventually fell 69-54 to Flower Mound in the first round last Tuesday night. The season ended on a bad note, and you got to feel disappointed for seniors on the team who have been with the program for four years and were looking for one last chance to make a run in the playoffs. 

Nevertheless, if Durant really had bad management, he resigned, and hopefully the problem is now averted. 


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