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Monday, Jul 29 2013 09:49 PM

Garces places football coach Jim Maples on administrative leave

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High's head football coach Jim Maples congratulates team quarterback Cruise Adams after defeating Sanger in the D-II section championship game in this file photo.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Usually, the first day of high school football fall practice is marked by uniform and gear distribution, conditioning in the heat and a lot of optimism.

But all of that was pushed aside during a tumultuous Day 1 at Garces, where second-year head coach Jim Maples has been placed on administrative leave. Rams athletic director Lela Steiber confirmed that Monday night, but she said she could have no further comment.

Maples went 12-1 in his first year as Garces' head man and led the Rams to the Central Section Division II championship, romping past Sanger in the title game. The Rams have a load of talent back and figure to be in the mix again in Division II this coming year.

But the last week has been a rough one. Garces acknowledged a race-related incident in summer school and summer sports practice in a statement late last week. When asked if that had any bearing on Maples' discipline, Steiber had no comment.

The timing here is obviously an issue, but it's prudent to wait until we see how this ends up and until we know all the facts to make a judgment on Maples or the effect it'll have on the Rams in 2013.

More to come, obviously.

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