Why Was Rush Propst Fired From Valdosta High School?

- Titletown High -
Why Was Rush Propst Fired From Valdosta High School?

At the very end of Netflix's Titletown High, viewers learn that scandal was afoot at Valdosta High, all surrounding Coach Rush Propst. The show doesn't get into the nitty gritty details of it all, but Propst was allegedly doing a lot of shady things around the football team, something that he had been accused of before.

Propst came to Valdosta in the middle of a previous controversy, in which the school board decided to not renew the contract of Alan Rodemaker, who eventually sued the district because he believed he was fired because he was a white man. The town was already split when it came to how the football program was being handled at Valdosta, though, per ESPN, everything seemed to be looking up when Propst came to town having won five state championships at his previous school, Hoover High in Alabama, and a boatload of wins at Coquitt County in Georgia. You saw how important football is to the Valdosta community and basically, Propst was supposed to breathe fresh life into the program. While you see much of that go down in Titletown High, what you don't learn is that Propst allegedly had a murky past when it comes to heading up football programs.

He was forced to resign from Hoover in 2007 after the board alleged "improprieties" within his program, like changing players' grades so that they could play (and for using football club money to support a second family, which is a whole other can of worms brushed over in the doc). Then in 2019, he was fired from Colquitt for allegedly improperly administering medications to his players and owing back taxes. So he came with a lot of baggage.

Enter Michael "Nub" Nelson, who we meet in Titletown High. While you can see that Nub isn't a huge fan of Propst's, the series barely mentions that Nelson actually felt so uncomfortable about Propst's management of the football program that he recorded conversations with the coach. In those recordings, Propst tells Nelson that the Touchdown Club would need "funny money" to support the Valdosta players and future recruits.

Specifically, he reportedly asked for $2,500 a month for four months to pay rent for Jake Garcia's family, before he was deemed ineligible to play, and $850 a month for Amari Jones' move to town from Atlanta. In addition to that, he suggested that going forward, the club would have to pay recruits upwards of $10,000 a season per player if they wanted to get to the state championships again.

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Propst said on the tapes, via ESPN, "In Hoover, you know where I got my damn cash money in Hoover? From the city police drug raids on damn I-20. They would give me money from time to time from drug raids. I shit you not. They probably gave me $30,000 of drug money. Is that not unbelievable? The Hoover Police Department loved the Hoover Buccaneers, plain and simple." The Hoover PD denied the allegations to ESPN.

With all of this information on tape, the Valdosta board decided to not renew Propst's contract. The Georgia High Sports Association also fined the school $7,500, banned the team from the 2021 post-season, deemed four players ineligible for a year, and had the Wildcats wins — every single one we saw play out on the Netflix series — forfeited.

Images: Netflix

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