Joe Peron, who has coached the women’s basketball team at PCC since 1996, is under a second investigation for violating the recruiting by-laws of the South Coast Conference.
Last month, Peron was removed from his position as head coach. It is undetermined whether he will return to the team.
In February, an incident occurred in which Peron paid a hotel room for one of his players who had asked Peron for help after leaving unstable living conditions, Peron said during the June 15 Board of Trustees meeting. This sparked an investigation from the school and the South Coast Conference into Peron’s recruiting methods and led the administration to relieve him of his duties as head coach.
Peron then called for an independent investigation into the allegations, so a second investigation conducted by a neutral party has begun.
Community leaders, alumni, and current Lancer athletes spoke on behalf of Peron at the June 15 meeting.
“The administration claims to want to protect the women’s basketball program but does not realize they are in fact hurting and diminishing our team,” said Judith Espinoza, the women’s team captain. “Coach Joe Peron has coached for an outstanding 20 years, has successfully won a state championship, and sent a number of women off to universities to not only further their education, but their basketball careers as well.”
Gary L. Moody, the president of the Pasadena branch of the NAACP, said Peron’s alleged infractions “do not weigh anywhere near the successes that he’s had.”
“You should reconsider and reinstate to make sure that this program continues,” he said.
According to Peron, his intentions are to be reinstated as the 2015-16 women’s basketball head coach.
Dr. Robert Bell, PCC’s assistant superintendent and senior vice president of academic and student affairs, whom the athletic department reports to, hasn’t yet determined whether the administration will be replacing Peron as the second investigation is ongoing.
“I can tell you there were two violations of the conference bylaws,” said Bell. “Once we come to the close of that investigation we’ll know where we are,” said Bell.
Bell said he learned about the violations right before the close of the season.
Other than being removed as head coach, Peron has not been suspended from his job as a tenured professor in kinesiology.
“Mr. Peron is still a member of the college faculty,” said Bell. “That has not been interrupted.”
Peron has been a coach for 20 years at PCC and led the Lancers to win one state championship and six conference titles.
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