GARY | It was a short and choppy ride for Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy first-year football coach Jeff Karras.
And Friday afternoon, hours before his 3-6 Panthers' 4A Sectional 9 opener at West Side, Karras was relieved of his coaching and teaching duties at the Gary school.
Roosevelt Principal Terrance Little sent a short email to local media that read:
"Jeff Karras has been relieved of his duties as teacher and football coach at Theordore Roosevelt College and Career Academy and will not be coaching the team in tonight's game against West Side. Assistant coach Melreo Hay will lead the team in tonight's game.
"Since this is an employment and personnel matter, no further details can, or will, be provided. We thank Mr. Karras for his dedication to Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy, and wish him the best."
Karras was shocked and relieved.
"That's the way they do it, and I'm going to say something, but I'm not going to say something right now," Karras said Friday.
"It has to do with their rules and their ride-home policy (because) with no (team) bus. It has to do with a lot of little things I did above and beyond that I believe they didn't feel was within their rules."
Karras, a Hobart grad who previously coached at South Central and then Michigan City, taught business law and computer programming at Roosevelt. He said he doesn't plan to meet with school officials.
"I don't really want to be there, to be honest with you, after experiencing one full year with the state takeover," Karras said. "It's unfortunate for them, not for me. There's a lot of places I can be.
"I enjoyed the kids and feel bad for them. I really didn't understand everything they were trying to do with the school. Their rules are vague, but there's no air that needs to be cleared. There was no foul play.
"I'm gone, and it's good for everybody, I suppose."