Danville basketball coach reinstated

DANVILLE – In a close decision, Danville school board members decided Monday night to reinstate the Danville High School boys' basketball coach after a 20-day suspension.

After more than an hour discussing the situation behind closed doors, the school board voted 4-3 to immediately reinstate coach Scott Olson.

Board members Mary Alice Brian, Greg Hilleary, Leon Parker and Dan Brown voted to reinstate the coach. Board members Pete Krainock, David Groves and Randall Ashton voted against the idea.

Olson, who has been the boys' varsity coach since June 1999, was indefinitely suspended Jan. 4 from his coaching duties. The district has not released any details about Olson's suspension.

School board President David Groves said the situation in question involved the use of profanity by the coach in a practice, but he offered no further details. He said it was brought to the district's attention by parents and community members.

Groves said the board's split vote was a result of determining when the use of profanity may cross the line. Groves said some, including himself, felt this particular situation was crossing the line; others didn't. He said the district would prefer profanity not be used at all around students but definitely not in a derogatory way.

"Our main concern is the kids," he said.

Groves said that during the meeting, the board discussed the situation with Olson and explained to him what they expect.

As for the parents and community members who may disagree with their decision, Groves said hopefully everyone can put this behind them and move forward.

After the meeting, Olson said he was happy with the board's decision, and he's looking forward to getting back to the team.

"It's a difficult situation," said Olson, who added that he wished the incident hadn't been strung out so long. "I've always taught the guys to hang tough in tough times, and they have. I'm looking forward to getting back. It's going to be good to see them again."

Olson's first contact with the team since the suspension will be after school today at practice. He said they will discuss some things, but they're in the middle of the season, doing well and that will be the main focus.

"We want to keep that mindset going," said Olson, who is also a teacher in the district. "They've performed admirably so far."

The team, which has been lead by assistant coach Tony Montgomery in Olson's absence, has played five games since Olson's suspension and won four of the five.

Overall, the team has a 14-5 record. They're third in the Big 12 standings with a conference record of 5-2.

Olson's coaching record is 115-68 in seven years at Danville High. He is 328-174 in his coaching career at Orion, East Moline United Township and Danville.

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