Football coach removed from team after 12 players quit

12 Rio Americano seniors quit team last week

 UPDATED 3:35 PM HST Oct 02, 2012
Rio Americano High School 1
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

The coach of the Rio Americano football team has been removed by the school's principal after 12 seniors quit the squad last week. All of the players will be reinstated on the team, according to school district officials.

The principal of Rio Americano made the decision after meeting with players, parents and head coach Christian Mahaffey, a spokesman for the San Juan Unified School District said Tuesday.

Two assistant coaches will also be leaving the team. 

Eleven seniors quit last week after senior wide receiver Guillermo Salazar -- a three-sport star athlete -- left the team when Mahaffey wouldn't let him attend a baseball competition in Arizona, which would require him to miss a football game on Oct. 13.

Salazar was hoping to showcase his skills for a potential Major League Baseball career.

A spokesman for San Juan School District said the principal made the decision in part because there were no clear, written guidelines for the players given in advance by the coaching staff.

The Rio Americano squad was down to 21 or 22 players for their remaining games.

The players will be suspended for one game due to insubordination. School district officials said the players will likely play during this week’s game on Friday night against Cordova and sit out another game later in the season. 

Mahaffey, who was a coach for the Raiders since 2009, will still be an employee with the school district, but not at Rio Americano, district officials said.
 

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