Editorial: A Campos coverup?

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By The Staff

The administration of the Las Vegas City Schools should keep the school board in the loop on major developments — good or bad.

But it looks as if former Superintendent Pete Campos fell far short of that goal when the state activities association placed Robertson High School’s football team on probation for two years. He apparently didn’t even bother to tell the board.

We found out about the probation last week from a lawsuit filed by the victims of the sexual assaults at the varsity football team’s camp in the Gallinas Canyon in August 2008.

We asked for documentation from the attorney for the victims, and he gave us what we needed. It turns out that then-head coach Chad Roanhaus didn’t have a coaching license when he won his first state championship in 2005.

So the New Mexico Activities Association placed the football program on probation for two years, required the district to sponsor “Pursuing Victory With Honor” workshops for the community and mandated that Roanhaus get his property certifications.

Campos, a state senator and now president of Luna Community College, received letters about the issue from the NMAA in several instances from 2005 to 2007. But he apparently didn’t clue in the school board. In interviews last week, three members said they had no idea that Robertson’s state championship team was on probation.

So, in other words, Campos kept the bad news from his bosses. As usual, we couldn’t reach Campos for comment, but we don’t take it personally because we know many others struggle to reach the longtime state senator.

If the board had known about the license problem, it could have put more scrutiny on the football program. And if that had happened, maybe, just maybe, the infamous assaults with broomsticks would never have taken place.

Instead, it appears Campos preferred a coverup. As a result, the athletic department’s boys-will-be-boys attitude never wavered. Roanhaus’ successor didn’t have a license and neither did his assistants. Were any of these guys prepared to handle a bunch of football players at an out-of-town camp? Probably not. Licenses exist for a reason.

Campos left the district a month and a half before the assaults occurred. But he has to claim some of the blame for the irregularities in the athletics department on his long watch. Campos’ apparent secrecy failed the Las Vegas City Schools. He has some explaining to do.