Public opinion was not permitted at Monday’s workshop involving Horry County school board members. Yet, the mere presence of a few dozen Conway residents spoke volumes.
With legal woes now behind him, the road to longtime Conway football coach Chuck Jordan returning to the sideline on Monday was in the hands of Horry County School Board members. His future was one of several matters up for discussion among members of the governing body, done largely in executive session.
“It’s pretty obvious who we were discussing,” said Joe DeFeo, chairman of the Horry County School Board when grilled about what personnel matters required executive session.
No action was taken in regard to the matter.
Since late May, Jordan has been on administrative leave with pay following an on-campus altercation between him and 17-year-old Conway High student Ka’Brian Hickman.
In June, both Jordan and Hickman were booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center for their alleged roles in the incident— the 60-year-old football coach accused of third-degree assault and battery, and the Conway student charged with disturbing schools.
Neither case would see a courtroom, though, charges against each party being dismissed.
According to Conway municipal prosecutor Sanford Graves, “evidence did not rise to the level” necessary to prove Jordan’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. As for Hickman, charges were dismissed in the “interest of justice.”
Disappointed the matter will not see its day in court, some Conway residents have mobilized via social media to make their message heard. Prior to Monday’s school board workshop, trustees received dozens of e-mails from critics of Jordan, hoping to sway the opinion of the governing body.
“I’ve been getting e-mails and phone calls and talking to everybody,” he said. “I told them that at this point it is an administrative decision. And unless there’s a reason for an employee to have some proper appeal to the board — it remains to be seen if that will be needed or used — the board basically allows the administration to do their job.”
Should Jordan be reinstated, some are calling for Conway players to boycott, raising echoes of another controversy involving the Tigers head man nearly three decades ago.
Back in 1989, the program was embroiled in controversy after Jordan’s choice to start Mickey Wilson — now football coach at Myrtle Beach — ahead of incumbent Carlos Hunt, who the previous season guided the Tigers to an 8-4 record. In protest, the majority of Black players on the roster sat out the season.
According to Conway resident Cedric Blain-Spain, this situation may force members of a talented Tiger squad to make a difficult decision.
“This is a man, an administrator who has been entrusted with taking care of our kids, and he puts his hands on a special needs kid?,” said Conway resident Cedric Blain-Spain in a recent statement. “If you allow your child to play ball (for Jordan) or show any influence (over them), it reveals a lot about character and a lot about their parenting.”