Mater Dei chairman Walter Jenkins resigns – Orange County Register
Mater Dei high school president Father Walter Jenkins has resigned amid a power struggle between Jenkins and Mater Dei head football coach Bruce Rollinson and his supporters.
Jenkins commissioned an independent investigation into the culture of Mater Dei’s football and athletics programs in November in response to a series of reports from the Orange County Register detailing the alleged assaults of three Monarch football players on a teammate and a classmate.
Registry reports have garnered national attention and prompted growing calls for the dismissals of Rollinson and Mater Dei manager Frances Clare, even as Mater Dei advanced to the national championship.
Jenkins’ departure was announced in a letter to the Mater Dei community by Erin CO Barisano, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Orange.
Barisano said Jenkins has returned to the Order of Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana, where he “will take on a new assignment.”
Jenkins became Mater Dei’s primary administrator in July. He had previously been president of Holy Cross High School in Queens, NY
Jenkins was hired in February, replacing Patrick Murphy, who stepped down in January 2020 to join the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL. Murphy had served as president since 2002. Jenkins officially took over from Mater Dei on July 1.
But less than six months later, he found himself embroiled in a controversy that raised questions about the culture within one of the country’s leading high school football programs and the largest mixed Catholic high school in the west of the Mississippi River.
Jenkins said on November 30 that Mater Dei would commission an investigation into the security practices of its sports programs by an independent company. Jenkins also announced that he is also creating a task force to examine “how athletics is engaged”.
âIt’s clear that sports are an important part of any high school experience, but they aren’t Mater Dei’s only mission. Jenkins wrote in a letter to parents and students of Mater Dei at the time. âWe have to ensure the balance.
A Sacramento law firm hired by Mater Dei met with officials this week to prepare for an investigation into allegations of misconduct and the culture within the school’s football and track programs. Discussions included agreement on a timetable for the investigation and the different phases of the investigation. The company will begin interviewing Mater Dei students on Thursday, according to a school official.
A Register report in November detailed how a current Mater Dei football player punched a teammate, 50 pounds lighter, three times in the face in an alleged hazing ritual called “Bodies” on February 4 while other Monarchs players shouted racial epithets at the smaller player, according to two videos of the altercation obtained by the Registry.
The Santa Ana Police Department has recommended that the most important player be prosecuted for assault and battery, according to a police report. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has no plans to press charges in the case. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said last week the altercation did not meet legal standards for “hazing” or criminal assault, but he is prepared to consider further evidence.
The registry also reported that Chase Hall, a Mater Dei basketball player, was allegedly attacked and beaten by two Mater Dei football players as he left a rally in Irvine shortly after midnight on May 5, 2019, according to police reports. .
Hall’s jaw was broken during the altercation and he will need to undergo further surgery.
“I’ll never forget what the surgeon said,” Mary Hall, Chase’s mother told The Register as she discussed the punch that broke her son’s jaw. âHe said if it had been a quarter of an inch higher.
âHe would be dead.
An Irvine Police Department investigator recommended that the two Mater Dei players be charged with aggravated assault and battery and that they, along with a classmate, who police say orchestrated the beating , be charged with criminal conspiracy. Both players were put to the test, according to Mary Hall.
The Hall family filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court on May 5 against a county-wide linebacker for Mater Dei (player 1), a senior Monarch lineman who had received a scholarship offer to play in a Pac-12 school (player 2), and a classmate alleging assault, bodily harm, negligence, civil conspiracy, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, inflicting by neglect emotional distress and false imprisonment. The trial continues to take place in court.