MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Public Schools are saying very little about the loss of several prominent leaders in high school athletics.
Just yesterday the district’s director of athletics resigned.
His resignation came after Southwest High School’s athletic director was placed on administrative leave.
While Minneapolis North and Patrick Henry basketball teams battled on the hardwood for bragging rights, many watching could not help but to wonder what is happening within the leadership of MPS athletics.
“I want to know that we are getting better and we’re not going backwards in any way,” said Makrem El’Amin.
Makrem El’Amin is a faith leader, community leader, and parent, who is concerned about change.
“Anytime you make a change in any way you want to acknowledge what has happened, you want to build upon that success and then you want to ask the question what’s next,” El’Amin said.
El’Amin and others are concerned that Trent Tucker, the district’s director of athletics since 2013, resigned the same day Ryan Lamberty, athletic director at Southwest High School, was placed on administrative leave.
The district is not offering reasons why, citing data privacy laws.
“I always want to know more. I think the more informed we are the better we can respond to things, so I definitely want to know more,” El’Amin said.
What El’Amin does know is under Tucker’s leadership, graduation rates soared with 98 percent for student athletes graduating.
North High won back to back Class 1A state titles in 2016 and 2017, its football team won the state title in 2016.
This year, North High’s basketball team has two student athletes competing for class valedictorian.
“I definitely want to know that we are on the right track in terms of athletics and the way that it augments and supports a student’s education as well,” El’Amin said.
Parents in the stands say all they want is for the continued success of kids from this community on and off the court.
They just hope whatever is going on at the top settles, before it disrupts all the good happening on the ground floor.
North High’s Athletic director, Leo Lewis, was placed on administrative leave in December.
He is the subject of an internal school investigation.
El’Amin and others say they have voiced their concerns about these changes.
They are trusting in the process that things will come out as need be.
He says he is excited about where they are and with the help of community, ready to take the next step.