Propst: Despite requests, never interviewed in ‘shrouded in secrecy’ investigation

Case, taken over by GPSC, could go to court if parties involved cannot reach an agreed upon penalty

Propst: Despite requests, never interviewed in ‘shrouded in secrecy’ investigation
Rush Propst

COLQUITT CO., GA (WALB) - The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC) has taken over the case against Rush Propst, the former Colquitt County Packer coach, following the school board’s investigation and termination decision.

GPSC officials told WALB the case is an open case, so there isn’t much information that can be released at this time.

Propst has the option to appeal the commission’s sanction, according to GPSC.

The case could go to court if an agreed upon penalty can not be reached by both parties.

Colquitt County School Superintendent Doug Howell’s report states five standards in the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators were violated.

STATEMENT FROM PROPST:

Propst released the following statement to WALB Tuesday afternoon.

"I greatly appreciate the many words of support and encouragement I have received during the last week from so many people throughout our community. It has meant a great deal to me and my family.

I believe that certain individuals conducted an investigation into me that they shrouded in secrecy. They developed the conclusions of the investigation before they determined the facts. The entire process was extremely unfair to me. In fact, I was never interviewed and didn’t learn of the allegations, despite requests, until I read the paper Friday. I want to assure everyone that much of the information presented is totally false and the rest is misleading half-truths meant to damage my reputation and support pre-determined actions. As a coach, I always expect ‘fair play,’ but I don’t believe it has happened in this instance.

I have been blessed with a very successful 38 plus-year coaching career. In the eleven years I’ve been here, we have built a great program and helped hundreds of students get college scholarships and many more young men begin successful lives in their communities. I am very proud of our success in Colquitt County.

There has been a lot of speculation and rumor because of the way Mr. Howell pursued this investigation and how he distributed his conclusions. It is very sad to see this create division in our community. Please don’t join too quickly in arguments with friends and family.

I look forward to addressing the many false and misleading statements made about me in the very near future. In the meantime, I am assessing my options."

COMMUNITY RESPONSE

Many residents who didn’t want to be interviewed on camera told WALB they’re floored by the board’s findings and are still upset Propst was fired.

One family said Propst was like a father figure to many of his players. The same thing many players said during the called meeting where school board members voted unanimously to fire Propst.

WORKING TO LEARN MORE

Assistant Head Coach Troy Hobbs is currently in charge of the team.

WALB reached out to Hobbs, and he said any comment on the matter will come from the superintendent’s office.

Howell has not been reached for further comment.

WALB filed for an open records request to gain more insight into the investigation and we are working to provide those documents online.

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