From the e-mail files: ‘We’re going to hell in a handbasket. And Rush Propst is at the helm.’


Once in awhile, I’ll dip into my vast archives to show off truly memorable, sometimes bizarre, sometimes hilarious e-mails I receive or send.

In July 2007, I sent my friends a copy of a series of e-mails from a Hoover, Ala., woman who alleged that Hoover High School football coach (and MTV “Two-A-Days” star) Rush Propst had a secret family.

(She’s single, bitter and with kids. Dibs!)

She must’ve had the last laugh, because despite her annoying nagging, she was right.

• • •

Rush Propst

Woman: Have you heard the allegations surrounding Coach Rush Propst and his second family? Below are a few blogs to update you. It’s all true. Just a matter of time before the national media gets this story. Just thought you might be interested.

[followed by a list of 27 links, all to blogs reporting the same rumor without anyone actually on the record, a big no-no in journalism]

• • •

Wade: Thanks for the tip. However, until this story is substantiated by primary sources who are willing to go on the record, it’s all hearsay and innuendo. My news site doesn’t engage in random speculation, especially the libelous kind.

If you feel strongly enough, I’m sure you’ll post about it on or on your own blog at [HER BLOG], rather than ask others to assume the risks, legal and otherwise.

• • •

Woman: I appreciate your response. Take care. [NAME / PHONE]

Then …

Thanks, too, for the tip about posting on my blog. I couldn’t figure out how to connect it till now…..I’ll post the *pictures* of Propst and his girlfriend when I get them! Have a great day…..

• • •

Wade: I would ask you to consider a few questions:

What would be the goal of running those pictures? What would be the impact on Rush Propst’s family members? On his girlfriend’s family members? Is there an upside?

Could the girlfriend’s family sue you or the photographer for invasion of privacy? Libel?

Have you or the photographer talked with the people in the photos for their story?

What do you personally hope to gain by their publication?

After having worked as a newspaper editor and writer for a while, these are the questions I would ask of myself and my colleagues when faced with a choice to publish. It goes beyond whether or not we have the facts and into areas of legal and ethical concerns.

If you can answer all of these questions, and you are prepared to face whatever consequences, predictable or not, intended or not, then publish them. But please remember that once they’re published, you can never take them back, no matter how many people it may hurt.

• • •

Woman: I appreciate your journalistic views. However, I come from this position:

The iconic Head Football Coach at my son’s high school is an adulterous loser. He not only has a second family, but he had an affair with the 9th grade principal while his mistress was pregnant with their second child (well known and confirmed by then-Superintendent Connie Williams). My son is a friend to one of the Propst boys, so I’m well aware of the hell the Coach has put his own family through.

A little personal background to put this in perspective: My marriage ended 10 years ago because of an adulterous affair. My children were 3, 3, and 1. There was no moral outrage on the part of his family nor “our” friends. My ex-husband married his mistress and she is now my three children’s stepmother and they have an 8-year-old daughter, whom his mistress became pregnant with during our divorce proceedings. I battle the effects of an adulterous affair every single day in my single-parent household. Our income has suffered; our “standing” in the community has suffered (you don’t go to Supper Club as a Single Parent).

Our larger society tolerates and even CONDONES adulterous affairs that end in women becoming the Heads of their Households. The American Family has been torn apart by adulterous affairs. I attribute the moral decline of our African-American families to philandering Black men.

What’s going on in Hoover is a bigger picture story. This is not about the Coach or his mistress or any of his six children.

This is about a city (Hoover) that will continue to allow a “fallen man”, as it were, to lead our young men and serve as a role model for them. This is about the “winning at all costs” mentality that has taken over my city.

This is personal.

I live in the house I grew up in. I’ve been in Hoover since 1970. I chose to raise my family here because I thought this community espoused my moral values.

I was wrong.

I refuse to sit idly by and wait for the Coach to ruin more young men that will ultimately become boyfriends and fathers themselves. The players know about the Coach’s mistress. She comes to the games. Everyone knows.

The City Council knows because I told them. And their answer was the same as yours: until it’s verified, we just won’t believe it.

No one will do anything about it. And Rush just digs in his heels and dares anyone to defy him.

I’m sick of him. I’m sick of what he’s done to my community.

He’s like a nasty hairball. The community is the cat. We keep licking him and licking him. But eventually, we’ll have to cough him up, as he’ll become too much of an irritant—-or we’ll choke to death (my prediction).

Hoover High School, the flagship school of our community, is being dragged down as well. With the Coach’s buddy as principal, the teachers are now afraid to cross Rush and his demands. How long will the good teachers stay? There is a huge demand for good teachers. Right now, Hoover High has many many good teachers. But working environment has been shown to be the number one reason that teachers stay where they are. I can tell you, the working environment at Hoover High is less than it once was. Teachers just try hard to stay out of Rush’s way. How long can the organization survive under that kind of pressure?

My son is just beginning school at Hoover High. His twin sister will attend John Carroll, as Hoover is too big for her. My youngest son goes to Highlands School, instead of attending Green Valley Elementary, which sits next door to my house and is where I went to grammar school. The quality of education in that elementary school stinks because of the incompetent principal running the show.

We’re going to hell in a handbasket. And Rush Propst is at the helm.

I heard that you had plenty to say about the Mighty Rush when MTV came and exposed his dirty little secret—what goes on inside the football program. That’s why I thought you might care.

I’m fighting for the Soul of my community. Your cold hard slap in the face (your first response) helped me realize that there is no such thing as Moral Outrage anymore. Anything goes. Even when it involves our children.

I’ll go down fighting. And trust me, I’m certain that I’ll lose. Rush has everyone in his hip pocket in this city. It’s truly disgusting.

I’ve been an education advocate for more than 5 years here in Hoover. I can’t stand what I see happening. It’s been happening ever since Dr. Jack Farr got sick with a brain tumor—and actually before. The people in charge of running this school system just don’t care about the kids anymore. Same thing happened to Jefferson County (the system I was in). That’s why Hoover left and got its own school system.

If Richard Bishop (the principal) and Rush Propst stay, I’ve been told to expect a Mass Exodus of teachers at the end of this school year. And not just from Hoover High School.

The teachers are looking to Central Office Administration to do the right thing and reclaim our moral dignity. I don’t believe Central Office Administrators (including Andy Craig) have the power to do anything about it. Mr. Craig has already compromised himself on a couple of crucial occasions, but I’ll keep that to myself for now.

I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with the silly little details of my life in Hoover.

Thanks, truly, for your advice. I fully recognize what’s at stake. That’s why I’m willing to cross lines.

Later …

Woman: And the only one who is responsible for the hurt is Rush Propst. Don’t shoot the messenger.


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