In the complicated world of sports, coaches come and go. Coaches get fired all the time, but when a very successful coach resigns red flags go up. What happened? Did he have a disagreement with his or her bosses? Are they having health problems? What would make a winning coach resign when his team is getting ready to dominate the California high school track and field world?
The story behind the resignation of the former Culver City high school track and field coach, Rayfield M. Beaton is difficult to understand. After 12 years as one of the best track coaches in California, he was stuck on a deserted island after someone said he had a private conversation off campus with a track student athlete.
The athlete was allegedly having problems and she came to Beaton for advice.
Beaton did what any coach in the world would do. He tried to help her. That led to allegations against him that were never proven. Simply because there was nothing to prove. He was suspended by the Culver City Unified School District eight months ago and to this day no one from the School District has spoken to him to simply say, “I am sorry.”
CCUSD members did not respond to a request for an interview.
As hard as it is to find good coaches, and to have one of the greatest coaches treated so poorly is extremely devastating.
“It’s the right time to leave the dinner table when respect is no longer served,” said Beaton during a telephone interview this week. “Everybody should be able to understand that.”
A good example on how this situation could have been handled is the way Mater Dei high school handled a controversy in their football program. The school and the Diocese of Orange was sued last April for a hazing incident in the locker room. The school and the Diocese of Orange stood behind their coach. Beaton’s situation was not even close to being as serious as that and no one came to his rescue.
“Weak people seek revenge, a strong person forgives, and an intelligent person would ignore something that they know is not right,” said Beaton. “It’s not about money, it’s about relationships. A lot of people think more about money than relationships. It’s always the right time to leave the dinner table when respect is no longer served. When people don’t respect you it’s time to move on.”
During Beaton’s 12 years as the Culver City girls head track coach his teams won 10 league championships and the other two years his teams came in second place. During that time over 30 girls and boys that he worked with made it to the CIF Finals and several athletes made it to the California State meet. He was one of the most respected coaches in California.
Beaton is also one of the greatest track runners in USC history and he is a former Olympic runner for Guyana.
“I want everyone involved in this situation to know that it’s all about respect,” said Beaton. “There is a big difference between someone that is in your circle and someone that is in your corner. To me it’s all about integrity and dignity.”