Several weeks ago a judge found two teenage boys, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, from Steubenville, Ohio, guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party last summer.
The boys were members of the city's beloved football team, and their coach, Reno Saccoccia, allegedly knew about the rape and tried to protect his football players by sweeping the whole story under the rug.
Many called for Saccoccia to be fired. Instead he received a two-year administrative contract, the city superintendent confirmed to The Atlantic Wire.
The school’s superintendent Mike McVey told the Atlantic Wire that a “board-approved two-year administrative contract in his current position” was up for renewal. “Coaching contracts are different from teachers and administrative contracts," stressing that the teaching title was “supplemental” to Saccoccia’s coaching contract.
Saccoccia will still appear before a grand jury next week and possibly face charges for failing to report the assault to authorities.
During the trial last month, Mays, who was the star quarterback, submitted a text message as evidence that read, “I got Reno. He took care of it and shit ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like was joking about it so I’m not worried.”
As light was shed on the story, a petition titled “Steubenville Schools: Fire Coach Reno Saccoccia,” was created on Change.org and gathered more than 134,000 signatures.
The petition reads: “No players known to have participated in the rape in any way – sharing the photos and videos, keeping it from authorities, being at the scene without reporting the rape were ever punished by Saccoccia or his staff. Even after the boys were arrested and charged with rape, Saccoccia kept his players on the team [boys who were not convicted of the rape, but boys who were at the party and one boy who said he took a picture of the rape and deleted it] for eight more games. Saccoccia even threatened a female reporter with violence, telling her, ‘You’re gonna get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.’”
Despite the petition's popularity, Saccoccia will continue working at the school.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant.