College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 25
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 24
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 25
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 24

Drinking, conduct violations leave what-if questions for COD baseball

With no word from COD administration or the athletic department, a source from the baseball team steps forward to answer lingering questions about why former head coach, Bobby Wilson, was fired.
Graphic+by+Bee+Bishop+with+photos+from+the+Courier+Archive+and+the+COD+Newsroom.
Graphic by Bee Bishop with photos from the Courier Archive and the COD Newsroom.

Editor’s Note: This story uses an anonymous source under a pseudonym to protect the player’s identity and avoid any personal or professional repercussions he may face for speaking about the issue/topic. Both the writer and the editor-in-chief know the identity of the source.

The College of DuPage baseball team found the most success this season since 1993, placing fourth in the NJCAA Division III Baseball World Series tournament. The Chaparrals finished their season with a 33-18 record, and they remain hungry to make a deeper push next season. If you ask anyone associated with the team, they’ll tell you how far they’ve come since facing adversity throughout the season.

“It was unusual circumstances how I ended up here, but I appreciate all of these boys,” assistant coach Matt Gould said in May before their postseason run started.

Gould took over as the acting head coach of the COD baseball team after their return from Myrtle Beach in March, as former head coach Bobby Wilson was suspended indefinitely at the time. The Chaparrals also returned home without assistant coaches Tyler Fletcher and Steven Salvino.

Screenshot of Bobby Wilson’s X post with full typed-out statement. The post was made at 10:24 a.m. on April 22.

Along with these absences, players were also seen out of uniform and keeping a noticeable distance from the field at home games on rotation until late April. After almost seven weeks since the team’s return from Myrtle Beach, Wilson announced his firing on April 22 on his X, formerly Twitter, account.

After a player from the team spoke to the Courier, quoted here under the pseudonym Rex Buckingham, it was confirmed that the team violated COD’s Student Code of Conduct.

“On the night before the off day, the team just kind of celebrated,” Buckingham said. “They all went to bars and stuff, pretty much. They also broke curfew.”

Buckingham went on to say Wilson, Fletcher and Salvino found out about the team’s misconduct before their next game in Myrtle Beach.

“[The coaching staff] figured everything out,” he said. “Then they had a mandatory meeting. [Wilson] got the team to confess. He knew everything. They kind of got punished in Myrtle by [Wilson].

“[Fletcher and Salvino] were both disappointed, too,” he continued. “The whole coaching staff was. [Wilson] was the most vocally disappointed. I don’t know anything about what happened with [Fletcher and Salvino], but they got in trouble in their own way. That led them to resigning, pretty much the day they got back.”

After the Chaparrals returned from Myrtle Beach, the team went through one-on-one interviews with Dean of Student Affairs Nathania Montes.

“[The team] was given the same amount of questions, and what they [confessed to decided] how many games they got [suspended for],” Buckingham said. “People who had a fake ID and drank on the trip were given six. Some people who only drank on the trip were given three. They were put through the wringer, but everyone knows what happened.”

Buckingham said Gould has been telling the team not to talk about the events of Myrtle Beach or anything that followed.

“He’s been on this tangent saying, ‘We’re all just trying to move on,’” he said. “That’s what he keeps saying. When he said there was a nosy reporter trying to come in, he told the team not to say anything. It’s really only him and the coaches with a new pay grade who are trying to move on. If I was a coach and my buddies were getting put through the wringer by the administration, I wouldn’t be ready to move on. There’s been no fight [from Gould and the other assistant coaches] from what the players have seen.”

In the following week after Wilson’s statement, at least four different prospects of COD baseball announced they were opening up their eligibility on their X, formerly Twitter, accounts. All known decommittals cited Wilson’s dismissal as the reason for their departure.

COD Athletics referred to Gould as the head coach while announcing the lineups before each postseason game. In the game recaps on the gochapsgo.com website, Sports Information Coordinator Mark Reinhiller cited Gould as the interim head coach as early as May 25. Despite the title, COD still has an opening listed for the head coach job on indeed.com.

The Courier submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of the General Counsel at College of DuPage on June 8, to which COD requested an extension to July 8. At this point in time, neither the team, COD Athletics, nor the college itself has released any information as to why Wilson was fired or announced his departure.

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