BRADENTON, Fla. - Manatee High School Head Baseball Coach Dwayne Strong has resigned as an investigation continues into alleged financial improprieties and violations of the School Board's policies and procedures.
Strong was recently suspended from his coaching duties and was under investigation by the District's Office of Professional Standards.
ABC Action News reported in October that Strong allegedly implemented a pay-to-play system that involved The Sandlot at 5-Tools, an indoor hitting facility he owns and operates on the side.
While the school district did not go into the specifics of the investigation, spokesman Steve Valley said the investigation started after OPS received information from a person affiliated with Manatee High School.
In an Oct. 3 memo to MHS Principal Don Sauer, the executive director of high school management directed Sauer to "suspend all interactions between Mr. Strong and the MHS baseball program" and "freeze all MHS baseball program funds and accounts." The memo referred to the "severity of the allegations and initial evidentiary findings" as the reason why.
At a school board meeting in mid-October, dozens showed up to speak on Strong's behalf.
Strong would not talk to ABC Action News about the investigation.
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