Coaches, A.D. let go after Asst. the coach pretended to be a player
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A petition for reinstatement Mike Whittington as athletic director at Churchland High School had collected nearly 1,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
Whittington was subsequently removed as athletic director the assistant coach pretended to be a JV player and prepared for the basketball game against Nansemond River last month.
Arlisha Boykins, a 22-year-old former assistant coach for the Churchland JV girls basketball team in Portsmouth, posed as a 13-year-old player who played for the Truckers. The student-athlete was out of town for a club basketball tournament, the girl’s parents said WAVY TV 10 Sports Director Craig Loper.
The JV head coach, as well as the head coach of the varsity women’s basketball team, have been fired. Sources tell 10 On Your Side that the varsity coach “encouraged the behavior” during the game.
Shortly afterwards, Whittington was also suspended from his post as sporting director, which he had held since 2017.
A person close to Whittington tells 10 On Your Side that he was at home with the flu when the game happened and that he didn’t find out about the impersonation until two days later.
At that point, he claims he reported the incident to both the Virginia High School Athletic League and Portsmouth Public Schools and was initially praised for the way he handled it.
“These coaches are not consistent with our core values in the Churchland community,” said Lance Reynolds, a Churchland Recreation League coach who previously worked with Whittington.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that he was even thought to be guilty of any of this,” Reynolds said.
“I just don’t understand why he should be punished,” said Karena Dixon, a former Churchland basketball player and mother of two Churchland students.
“He did a lot for the school. He made a change for the better. Thanks to him, many students have scholarships,” she said.
Whittington’s family said he has a teaching license, so he now teaches elementary school history.