Schartz remains Manhattan coach; superintendent to decide "as soon as possible"

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Joe Schartz will remain the head football coach at Manhattan High School after the Manhattan-Ogden Board of Education declined to take action on Wednesday night.

Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade is now tasked with deciding Schartz's future.

"I can't give you a time line other than I want to resolve it as quickly as possible," Wade said. "The board's action is to direct me, as the superintendent, to deal with personnel issues within the district."

Wade says the decision will not be made in a public meeting.

The inaction from the Board of Education comes after an alleged beating incident involving Manhattan football players in October.

"We weren't saying this didn't happen. We know it happened," Jon Harper, the father of a Manhattan football player, said. "We know Joe didn't condone it. He's definitely the right guy to fix it going forward."

The meeting room was over-capacity. Many people were forced to watch and listen from outside the room.

When the Board of Education reached the "personnel" issue on the agenda, members voted to go into executive session (as planned).

The executive session period last for an hour. When the board returned, board President Darell Edie issued a statement:

Given the situation is under review of the county attorney, and given the serious nature of the allegations, and given the student was injured, it is premature for the board to take action. In the interim, the board directs the superintendent to ensure the safety of all students in our educational and extracurricular programs.

Edie attempted moments of levity a handful of times during the meeting, saying things like, "Motion passes. Is that what everybody is here for tonight?" following votes on issues unrelated to Schartz.

The crowd reacted with audible frustration after his fourth or fifth attempt at humor.

The Riley Co. Police Dept. has turned over its investigation to the County Attorney. Charges include battery, child endangerment, and contribution to a child's misconduct. It doesn't say how many players are recommended to face charges.

In his nine seasons as head coach at Manhattan High School Schartz has a 73-19 record.