By JEFF EVANS, Californian columnist email@example.com
Longtime Bakersfield College softball coach Sandi Taylor has been named interim athletic director at the school, BC spokeswoman Amber Chiang said Saturday morning.
Taylor replaces Ryan Beckwith, who resigned Friday.
Chiang confirmed Beckwith’s resignation, which was announced Friday in an interview with The Californian. No BC officials could be reached for comment on Friday.
Taylor will be the interim AD until the school can complete state- mandated hiring procedures required before Beckwith’s permanent successor is determined.
“That’s a natural movement based on her role as associate athletic director the last two years,” Chiang said of Taylor.
Beckwith’s resignation comes on the heels of conference sanctions against the Renegades’ football program that were announced on May 14.
Late Saturday afternoon, KGET’s Mark Haas tweeted that Beckwith was sent two letters of reprimand in June for unaccounted state championship football game tickets and not following payroll procedures.
Beckwith could not be reached for comment by The Californian but Haas tweeted that Beckwith had responded that the reprimands were “unproven and character defamation.”
Chiang said she knew nothing about any reprimand letters. “If I did, I couldn’t say anything because it’s a personnel issue,” she said.
Earlier Saturday, Chiang said that Beckwith was not fired.
“Not only I but (BC) President Sonya Christian as well have made clear: No member of the Bakersfield College staff will be or has been terminated as a result of the sanctions on the Bakersfield College athletic program,” Chiang said.
But Chiang would not say whether Beckwith was pressured into resigning and she wouldn’t divulge any payoff or other inducements BC made to Beckwith to finalize or quicken his resignation.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss that and truthfully I don’t have any of those particulars,” Chiang said. “That’s considered personnel things and we couldn’t release that anyway.”
Chiang said Taylor’s interim status could be in place for nearly a year “based on state employee rules.” Taylor’s added responsibilities will likely mean she won’t be able to continue as softball coach for the 2014 season, Chiang said.
“The duties of the athletic director are vast and extensive,” Chiang said. “We want to see that she is provided as much support as possible. I would expect us to name an interim head coach as well. But that would be between her and her supervisor.”
Taylor’s supervisor is Zav Dadabhoy, BC’s vice president of student affairs and the college’s point man in the negotiations with the California Community College Athletic Association during the investigation into BC’s alleged violations of CCCAA bylaws dealing with special privileges for football players.
A phone call and message left for Taylor, asking about her interest in the permanent athletic director’s job and any thoughts on an interim softball coach, was not immediately returned.
On May 14, the Southern California Football Association ruled that BC’s football program had violated several CCCAA bylaws. The SCFA rules all BC football wins in the 2011 and 2012 seasons would become forfeit losses and the CCCAA subsequently vacated BC’s state football title it won last December.
The football program has also been placed on two years’ probation and has been ruled ineligible for the postseason this year.
BC officials have filed two appeals over those sanctions — both have been rejected — and Chiang said BC is expected to file its next appeal Monday, which will go before the entire CCCAA board.