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Decision No. 13,427

Appeal of PAUL C. HEALY from action of the Board of Education of the Clifton-Fine Central School District regarding the appointment of a basketball coach.

Decision No. 13,427

(June 9, 1995)

Arthur F. Grisham, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's refusal to appoint him varsity basketball coach for the 1994-95 basketball season. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner coached the varsity boy's basketball team at respondent school district during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. On or about October 24, 1994 respondent appointed another candidate to the position. That candidate subsequently resigned and, on November 21, 1994, respondent appointed A. D. Brown ("Brown"). Petitioner seeks the recission of Mr. Brown's appointment because he is neither qualified nor certified for the position. Petitioner further asks that he be reinstated as coach.

Respondent admits that neither Brown nor petitioner are certified teachers. In support of its decision to appoint Brown, however, respondent submits a temporary coaching license, granted to Brown by the State Education Department. Respondent also submits evidence that Brown has completed first-aid and CPR training, required by 8 NYCRR 135.4(c)(7)(i)(c).

Before turning to the merits, I must address two procedural issues. First, this appeal must be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party. As this appeal necessarily involves the interests of A. D. Brown, he must be joined as a party (Appeal of Tomkins, 34 Ed Dept Rep 174). While petitioner's supporting affidavit states that Brown will be joined as a party, there is no evidence in the record that this has been done. Thus, the petition must be dismissed.

The petition must also be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner will not entertain an appeal which does not involve an actual controversy (Appeal of Brown, 34 Ed Dept Rep 33). Since the 1994-95 basketball season has ended, the issue of the appointment of the 1994-95 basketball coach is academic.

The petition must also be dismissed on the merits. 8 NYCRR 135.4(c)(7)(i)(c)(3) does not require respondent to hire petitioner over other uncertified individuals for the coaching position. That regulation requires only that the person seeking a coaching position obtain a temporary coaching license, valid for one year, and that the licensee shall have completed the necessary first-aid and CPR coursework. Respondent has demonstrated that it filled the coaching vacancy with an individual who met those requirements. Petitioner has, therefore, failed to demonstrate that respondent has hired an unqualified coach, much less shown that respondent is required to hire petitioner instead.

As petitioner has failed to meet his burden of establishing a clear legal right to the relief requested, the appeal must be dismissed on the merits (Appeal of Cauley, 33 Ed Dept Rep 359).

I have considered petitioner's remaining contentions and find them without merit.