By Jimmy Durkin
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 10:52 am in Uncategorized.
The legal troubles for Russell Otis, the coach of the Dominguez-Compton boys basketball team that McClymonds beat in last year’s CIF Division I state title game, continue to grow. He has been on administrative leave from his coach and AD job this year while under investigation for sexual misconduct toward a player and has now been charged in that case. Now additional charges are being levied for allegedly depositing a sponsorship check from Nike for the basketball program (although he defends that all funds were used for the basketball team) and accepting a stipend for coaching a golf team at Dominguez that doesn’t exist. This all comes just eight years after a 2001 charge of sexual misconduct toward to a player, charges that he was acquitted on. I don’t like to pass personal judgement on people that I don’t personally know, but I have to say I’m amazed this guy still has a coaching job — at least for now.
His behavior at last year’s title game was a good indication of his character. He stayed down at the baseline instead of coming to half court to shake Mack’s players hands during pregame introductions. When several reporters were speaking with Mack coach Dwight Nathaniel in a Arco Arena hallway after the game, he walked by and offered up congratulations — without even so much as looking at him. The reporters all had our back to Otis, but Nathaniel relayed that to me afterward. He seemed to think his team was so far superior to Mack that he reportedly didn’t even scout the Warriors, something that obviously proved costly. I’ll be interested to see how this case goes. He’s due back in court March 30.