Chandler boys basketball coach Mike Ellsworth has been suspended for the remainder of the season for producing a flier with the names of four players who quit the team.
The incident happened early last week, and Ellsworth has not been on the bench for the past two games.
He declined comment on Tuesday, as did athletic director Dave Shapiro.
Assistant Kyle Darr has been promoted and is expected to remain the interim head coach until the end of the season. He was the freshman head coach for a season and has been an assistant to Ellsworth for the past four years.
"It’s been hard for the guys," Darr said. "I feel for them. I’m going to do everything I can to make it go as smoothly as I can."
Senior forward Devirous Johnson said the players quit because they wanted more playing time.
Ellsworth responded by putting their names on a flier in a locker room window, imploring his remaining players not to quit on the season.
"You have to take other people’s feelings into consideration, but to me, I didn’t see much wrong with it," Johnson said. "He was just putting out the facts. The truth. We had a lot of kids quit and he got sick of it, so he put (the flier) in the locker room… He was trying to make a point about not quitting. He feels like, once you start something, you have to finish it. Don’t start something and quit on yourself. That’s why he put it out there."
Johnson said he has talked to Ellsworth every day since the incident.
"He’s sick right now," Johnson said of Ellsworth. "He’s hurting because he’s not with us. He felt like he should have (made the flier), but at the same time, he wishes he didn’t do it, because now he can’t sit on the sidelines for the rest of the year."