Questions arise amid firing of Parkland basketball coach

Travis Holcomb-Faye

Questions arise amid firing of Parkland basketball coach
September 16
17:55 2020

The Parkland Mustangs’ basketball team is headed in a new direction after the firing of head coach Travis Holcomb-Faye. Holcomb-Faye spent four years leading the Mustangs, with last year being his most successful with a 22-5 record and a Piedmont Triad 3-A tournament championship.

Holcomb-Faye worked in the exceptional children’s department at Parkland, as well as being the head basketball coach. According to Holcomb-Faye, as the school year began at Parkland, he didn’t believe all of the employees were properly following the COVID-19 safety guidelines at the school.

Holcomb-Faye suffers from a medical disorder that causes seizures and says he was in disbelief of the disregard for safety protocols from some of his former co-workers. He says he felt compelled to say something about his concerns once when he was involved in a meeting where he says several people were not wearing masks and not properly socially distancing.

“That day we had a meeting and there were eight or nine of us in the room for a meeting, including Mr. Hardy, our principal, and two assistant principals,” said Holcomb-Faye. “It’s a small conference room and we were all sitting next to next to each other with no social distancing and he (Hardy) didn’t have a mask on and I had seen him at other meetings around the school with multiple people without a mask on, so that concerned me.”

With his medical issue to worry about, Holcomb-Faye said he was concerned about the number of people he saw not wearing masks, the lack of hand sanitizing stations, and the lack of protocols the school had in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I was just concerned about some of the safety protocols going on at the school, so while we were in this meeting, when he finished speaking, I mentioned my concerns to him,” he said. “He kind of brushed me off and told me to just go and do our assignments for the day.”

Upon returning the next day, Holcomb-Faye says he continued to witness individuals together in groups without masks and that prompted Holcomb-Faye to speak with one of his assistant principals. The assistant principal instructed him to go to Human Resources if there was a serious problem.

Holcomb-Faye says he did not initially go to HR, but instead chose to bear through and continue working. The following week, he says things reached their boiling point and Holcomb-Faye decided to speak with another assistant principal in the school who accompanied him to another meeting with the principal, where he expressed his concerns once again.

Holcomb-Faye says during the meeting he informed the principal that he was setting a bad example for other employees by not wearing his mask at all times. According to Holcomb-Faye, that is when the meeting became somewhat contentious and he was eventually told to leave the office and return to work.

The next move for Holcomb-Faye was not to return to work, but instead to make a call to HR. He informed HR of his concerns and requested a transfer to another school and was granted his transfer.

He says two weeks after his transfer he received a text from Parkland Athletic Director Linwood Jerald asking him to come to Parkland for a meeting with Jerald and Hardy.

“I still wanted to be the basketball coach and we had begun planning things for the upcoming basketball season,” he continued. “Before I could pull my chair out, Mr. Hardy said we are going to move the basketball program in a new direction. He said I needed to resign, and I said I am not resigning because I am not leaving my kids, so if you want me gone, you are going to have to fire me.”

Holcomb-Faye says he was not given a valid explanation for his firing outside of the school wanting to “move the program in a different direction.” He believes he was fired because he contacted Human Resources about his concerns, along with asking for a transfer from Parkland.  

“Basically, I feel like I was forced to leave because I had to put my health first,” he went on to say. “I believe I was fired from basketball, not because of my performance with the basketball program, but because I called HR and told them Parkland wasn’t following safety protocols with COVID-19.”

The Chronicle reached out to Parkland High School administrators for comment, but they did not return our calls.

Holcomb-Faye says he will miss working with his players and the community engagement they were involved with.  He wanted to thank all of the fans and supporters of the program for all of their contributions to the basketball program.  

Holcomb-Faye did not stay on the market very long. He received several offers to join coaching staffs around the area, but has chosen to join the staff at Winston-Salem Prep for the upcoming season.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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