CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Camden Catholic High School has sent out a letter to alumni defending its recent firing of the school’s head football coach.
In the letter, the school’s president says the allegations made by fired coach Nick Strom have no basis in reality.
The letter goes on to say that Strom is peddling complete falsehoods and that the school is proud to educate students of all races. (READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW)
The letter comes as roughly 26 parents seek legal counsel from attorney and head of the Camden County East NAACP Llyod Henderson.
“These are parents of the high school… the majority are football players or athletes,” said Henderson. “They really want the coach reinstated–number one—and that really they are looking for a change in the administration.”
Strom, who was also a history teacher at the school, says he was fired because there were too many black players on the football team.
“There have always been questions from the administration from the first time I started on the makeup of the team. Freshman that we were bringing in, transfers that we bring in, people that we play on the field and you try and be above that as a coach and you try to give kids an opportunity,” Strom said.
The firing sparked protests from football players and parents earlier this week.
“I don’t care what they do, I come out there to make a statement for my coach,” said junior Jeremy Nutt.
CBS3 received a copy of the letter the school issued to the coach for his “non-renewal,” citing issues like a professional dress code violation by wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes, and confronting another teacher in front of students.
“I think this is all to cover up the fact that they can’t say what really the problem is,” said Tyrone Bellford, Strom’s former high school coach.
Bellford says the accusations against the school’s administration are not baseless. He says that Strom has confided in him over the past year.
“In one of our conversations, he said it seemed the administration is kind of pushing me about the number of minority students I have coming in here. He talked to me about several instances, where he thought there were some minority students were disciplined, where they were expelled or let go from the school and on one occasion it was a white student who did something he wasn’t. He had serious concerns,” said Bellford.
Henderson says he plans to continue to ask questions on behalf of concerned parents.
“We’ll find out as time goes on what the allegations are, whether they’re true, whether they are made up. Somebody’s lying,” he says.
CAMDEN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL’S LETTER TO ALUMNI: