DeSoto ISD Board Decides to Keep Football Coach

DeSoto High School's head football coach will keep his job, after the school board voted to renew his contract Monday night.

Todd Peterman led the team to a state championship in December, but at the board's previous meeting two weeks ago, rumors started to swirl that he might be let go.

This appears to have started when someone sent an anonymous letter to the University Interscholastic League, accusing Peterman of breaking the rules for high school athletics.

The letter was faxed from a grocery store in Dallas. It accuses Peterman of recruiting players, letting recruits stay at his house and changing players' grades.

Peterman told NBC5's reporting partners at the Dallas Morning News that the allegations were "comical" and he strongly denied them.

At practice Tuesday, he told NBC 5 it wasn't hard to keep his players' heads in the game.

"Just normal, crawling in the bubble to go to work," Peterman said. "Everything on the outside stays on the outside once you get in the bubble and you stay inside."

Monday, Peterman told NBC 5, "We basically have two rules and that's it. We're trying to teach the kids to think and act responsibly. Pretty much covers everything, doesn't it? That's the expectation, that's what kids are doing in the classroom and on the field."

Meanwhile, DeSoto parents are speaking out in support of their coach.

"Facts are facts," parent Eddie Walker said. "If you've got facts on someone, why be anonymous about it? Be a man or a woman, come talk and say this is what we got."

The board has never spoken publicly about this, and, in the speculation that followed, some of the coach's supporters accused the board of having racial motivations against Peterman. At the meeting Monday night, Board President Carl Sherman called that idea "disgusting."

The UIL wouldn't talk about the anonymous allegations made against Peterman, but they forwarded the letter to the district to decide if there really was a violation and if so to report back to the UIL.

Sherman couldn't discuss specifics Monday night but said the board was comfortable with the decision to keep the coach on. They have not reported any violations back to the UIL.

There was a lot of tense back-and-forth at Monday night's meeting, both between board members and the community. But the board president said that's all part of progress, adding he looks forward to another winning season.


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