Greene, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sounds of support filled the Greene High School auditorium Wednesday night; a sea of green vocally behind varsity head football coach Tim Paske.
Parents and players said they want their coach back, after he was placed on indefinite suspension Monday.
Greene Superintendent Jonathan Retz declined to answer specific questions on the cause for Paske's dismissal.
But parents, players and members of the district's booster club said Paske left it up to players whether to march in last Friday's homecoming parade, which stepped off just hours before their game.
They voted against participating.
"He said I want you guys to walk in the parade, but he said it's an hour before our game, or an hour before warm ups, and he said if you don't want to walk two miles and be tired, then let me know," said team co-captain Cole Browning. "And as captains, we said we want to take a team vote on it, and we all voted no. So that's why we don't understand why he is being punished for a choice we made as a team."
Retz confirmed he relieved Paske of his coaching duties for the rest of the season.
More than 100 people came out to support Paske at Wednesday's meeting, saying they wanted answers on why he was suspended.
"That's why I'm here tonight," said Greene Touchdown Club President Dan Gilmore. "To see if I can find some answers,"
But players and parents say rumors are rampant.
"It was a big hullabaloo Friday night," said parent Tina Gilmore. "There were some comments around town that people were upset about the varsity players not walking in the parade."
When asked if the varsity team's absence at Friday's homecoming parade was a factor in the decision, Retz once again declined to comment. But he did stand by his decision.
"I, as superintendent, have a responsibility to make decisions for the district, it is my responsibility," he said. "I will make my decisions based on what I feel is in the best interest for the district. I will not make those lightly, I will involve as many people as possible."
During the public comment session, parent after parent after player stood up and said they want their coach back.
"We want to be there for him, because we really care about him, and we want him back on the playing field with us," Browning said.
"He is a tremendous coach, and outside of football, he does exceptional deeds for the children," added Paul Roe.
The third public comment session was cancelled as tensions ran high in the auditorium, and police escorted board members out at the end of the night, Gilmore said late Wednesday.
Paske is also the physical education teacher for Greene. His teaching position is not affected by his athletic suspension.