Hutchinson Tech High School football players took to the field tonight ahead of their 2018 season. Despite running drills, many of them had other issues to tackle.
"Today was the first day of practice and only about half the team that was supposed to turn up actually turned up," Senior player Xavion White-Baines said.
Those players made the decision to not attend practice until Nick Todaro becomes their head coach, again. Since the head coach resigned at the end of last season, Todaro has served as the interim.
But last week, the team was informed Tony Tuilizio would be their Varsity Coach for the season. Todaro is now his assistant.
The players were told Tuilizio was picked based on his seniority as a teacher. After a change.org petition made by White-Baines gained traction, community activist Duncan Kirkwood organized an emergency meeting.
About 15 players, coaches and parents showed up with strong opinions.
For months, The Buffalo Teacher's Federation, Buffalo Public Schools and various others have worked together to pass a rubric criteria when hiring coaches in the future.
In June, the rubric was tabled by The Federation due to lack of turnout for the vote.
Buffalo Public Schools released this statement:
"We intend to hire the most qualified coaches available for each and every sport."