The mayor's time with the Don Bosco Eagles appears to be at an end.
Earlier this afternoon, the Toronto Catholic District School Board announced that Mayor Rob Ford has been fired from his other job: his gig as a part-time volunteer football coach for Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.
The Star points out that the Catholic school board was already in the process of reviewing Ford’s involvement at Don Bosco before his recent drug scandal began making headlines. The review was a result of some disparaging things Ford said about his teenaged players during a March interview with David Menzies, of Sun News.
This is the unceremonious end of a political saga for Ford. He was frequently criticized in the press for devoting time to his football team at the expense of some of his official duties. He also took heat for using paid City staffers to help with some of his coaching duties, in apparent violation of City rules. On one occasion, he was also criticized for apparently commandeering two TTC buses to carry his players home from a game, though police and TTC officials claimed, at the time, that the mayor was not directly responsible for the incident.
Ford has been coaching for over a decade, and even heads a foundation dedicated to helping Toronto schools start their own football programs. His involvement at Don Bosco was a continual point of pride for him, even when it caused him political problems. The board hasn’t specified a reason for his dismissal, but no matter the cause, it’s undoubtedly personally painful for the mayor.
The full text of the TCDSB’s press release is below.
The Toronto Catholic District School (TCDSB) thanks Mayor Rob Ford for his contribution and many years of service to the Don Bosco Eagles Football Program. The Board has informed Mr. Ford of our decision to pursue a different direction with a new volunteer head coach for the Don Bosco Eagles senior football team.
Mr. Ford’s passion for football, his commitment to the Don Bosco players and their success speaks for itself. The Board is very grateful for the Mayor’s contribution.
“This is an exciting game that helps to develop strategic thinking, strength and agility while also fostering values such as teamwork, perseverance and good sportsmanship. Mr. Ford has helped our students rise to the challenge and realize their potential as both football players and young men,” says Bruce Rodrigues, the Director of Education. “This decision was based on what is best for our students, our school and the Don Bosco community.”
The Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure a positive learning environment for all our students and promote our school’s ongoing commitment to academic achievement, well-being and excellence. We recognize and respect that the Mayor’s first commitment is to the priorities of the taxpayers and citizens of the City of Toronto.
The football program will continue at Don Bosco and at all other TCDSB high schools that have teams. The TCDSB is appreciative for the thousands of volunteers who augment the work of our dedicated staff for various athletic and academic school programs and events throughout the school year.