The Jon Sparks era has come to an end for Southmont boys’ basketball. Problem is, no one seems to be willing to explain why.
A press release from Southmont athletic director Aaron Charles came out just before 3 p.m. Tuesday saying that Sparks resigned as head coach and that Jake Turner will serve as the interim head coach.
I asked Aaron, “Did Jon give a reason for his resignation? If so what was it?”
His response: “Our focus is on this team and moving forward as they continue to work to reach their goals for the season. We will not comment any further than what was released.”
Our staff called Charles several times Tuesday, called Southmont Principal Mike Tricker multiple times and even called the corporation office trying to speak with Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner. Not one call was returned. I’m not a hard guy to get hold of. I’ve printed my cell phone number in this very paper multiple times.
When we tracked down Sparks, he was only willing to confirm that “a change has been made.” I talked with him later and he sent a statement that started with “The administration at Southmont has determined my coaching to be finished. And so I have resigned effectively immediately.” The full statement can be read at the bottom of this page.
So was he fired or did he resign?
Did the fact that Sparks made a decision to bench his best player Saturday as Southmont lost a lead and the game at Cloverdale factor in?
I asked Aaron that, too, in an email. No response yet.
It’s time that we start acting like adults, don’t you think? Someone made an adult decision that has us in this situation. This situation where a 4-2 Southmont team had a head coaching change part way through the season.
That’s the situation and fans, supporters, taxpayers and students want to know why. They deserve to know why and what really happened.
If Sparks was fired as head coach, say so.
If he resigned and didn’t give a reason, say so.
If he resigned for personal reasons and doesn’t want those out, say so.
This administration is tasked with developing the children of this community into young men and young women, aka adults.
What example are you setting if it doesn’t involve a straight answer?
Coaches move on all the time. Some by choice, some not. It’s a part of life. Sometimes, it’s not pleasant. But it happens and it happened here. Deal with it and let’s move on. But this charade cannot be allowed to count as dealing with it.
So Southmont – Aaron Charles, Mike Tricker, Shawn Greiner – what really happened here?
Neil Burk is the Editor of The Paper of Montgomery County. He has spent his adult life in and around Crawfordsville, apart from a stint on the East Coast. His column appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. He can be reached at or 765-361-0100 ext 14.