School district investigating Manatee High baseball coach over alleged financial improprieties

Strong not working with team but says he is still coach

adell@bradenton.comOctober 12, 2013 

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GRANT JEFFERIES/gjefferies@bradenton.com Manatee High School baseball coach Dwayne Strong has been suspended from his position as the school district investigates possible wrongdoing in the program.

GRANT JEFFERIES — gjefferies@bradenton.com Buy Photo

The Manatee County School District is investigating Manatee High head baseball coach Dwayne Strong over alleged improprieties involving money.

The investigation is being handled by the school district at its request, according to Florida High School Athletic Association spokesman Corey Sobers. There could be a violation of FHSAA rules regarding practices conducted by Strong, among other things.

On Friday, Strong said he is still the baseball coach at Manatee but would not comment on the accusations. Manatee High athletic director Joe Kinnan said he would not comment on anything regarding Strong.

Several Manatee High baseball players practiced without their coach Thursday at G.T. Bray park. One of the players said the coach was under investigation for stealing money and is not allowed to be with the team. The player said he didn't think the coach was guilty.

According to sources close to the baseball program, there have been allegations from parents that Strong pressured players to attend a baseball facility he owns called The Sandlot @ 5-Tools Baseball and charged them money to do so.

Some parents said their sons were told if they didn't attend his facility they would not be allowed to play on the high school team, the sources said. The facility is at 801 Seventh Ave. W., Bradenton.

It irked some parents because Manatee High spent money to purchase equipment including batting cages at G.T. Bray park, but Strong insisted on the players attending his facility.

Some players were charged $750, and others were allowed to attend free depending on their skill level and how much they meant to the team, according to a source.

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