NORWALK — First-year Brien McMahon boys basketball coach Darrick Eason has been suspended for the rest of the school year for his role in accidentally sending an “inappropriate” meme to members of his team and coaching staff.
Brien McMahon principal Scott Hurwitz announced the suspension Monday night to all parties involved, according to Norwalk Public Schools spokeswoman Brenda Wilcox Williams.
“After a thorough investigation, it has been decided that Coach Eason will be suspended for the remainder of the year,” Wilcox Williams said in an email to The Hour. “We don’t discuss personnel matters, so we won’t have any additional information available.”
Brien McMahon athletic director Joe Madaffari also refused to comment.
Eason, who was hired in July to take over the program, was suspended before a game in late January.
The next morning, The Hour had received emails from a concerned family member of a player following that game, claiming the coach had sent “sexually explicit photos” to players on the team.
The next day the same parent sent a follow-up email to The Hour and Hurwitz, claiming interim head coach Terrence Fuller was punishing the boys too hard by making them run too much.
Eason claimed he accidentally sent one item through a social media application to coaches and players and not everybody received it.
A second source in the McMahon program confirmed that not all players received it.
“It was just one incident, one message,” Eason said. “I called Mr. Madaffari right away and we talked to Mr. Hurwitz. I self-reported it. I wasn’t trying to hide anything from anybody. It was an accident.”
Eason’s suspension is the same suspension handed out to Norwalk-McMahon co-op ice hockey coach Dale Wehmhoff.
Wehmhoff was removed from the bench before the start of the season when an anonymous email was sent to Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski claiming the coach made inappropriate social media posts on his Instagram account.
The posts, which were made before he was hired as the school’s hockey coach, were considered racially insensitive and sexually explicit by those investigating the incident, and Wehmhoff was suspended for the season.
At the time, Adamowski said Wehmhoff could reapply for the position next season with the re-hiring process left up to Norwalk High School Principal Reginald Roberts and Norwalk High athletic director Doug Marchetti.
All Norwalk coaches work on a year-to-year contract.
While the same has not been stated about Eason — Madaffari wouldn’t comment about that, either — the coach said he would like to return to the bench next season.
“I’d love to come back next year,” he said.
McMahon is 7-10 this season and needs to win one of its final three games to qualify for the state Division 2 tournament.
The Senators travel to Wilton on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.