The RFPRA cited relationship problems with “staff and key customers” when it announced early this month that Richard Garland would be suspended without pay for the week beginning Nov. 26.
The written warning, obtained under the Georgia Open Records Act, makes clear the key customer is Shorter.
Several conflicts arose regarding the Alto Park softball complex used by the school. A proposed VIP tent on Barron Stadium’s Maddox Track also met with resistance.
“The crux of the matter has been that Mr. Garland has repeatedly chosen to take a negative approach to requests by a significant partner to the RFPRA,” the authority’s warning memo to Garland reads in part.
Garland has been counseled before on interpersonal relations, and the memo states it is his final written warning. RFPRA Chairman Jerry Lee said Garland met with executive committee members Friday to discuss the issues detailed in the two-page document. “Richard’s putting together a plan for correcting things and will go over it with the board on Monday,” Lee said. “He’s obviously taken this to heart and is working to repair those relationships.”
Garland said Friday he would withhold comment until the RFPRA board meeting set for noon at the 1 Shorter Ave. headquarters.
Shorter Athletic Director Bill Peterson said he and Garland have spoken about the situation, and he’s ready to move forward.
“Any time you have a relationship there are going to be ups and downs,” Peterson said. “Right now our relationship — and my relationship — with Richard is in good shape and we intend to work together while we’re both in our respective positions.”
The memo cites as part of the problem two firings Garland initiated without notifying the RFPRA personnel or executive committees. The bulk, however, is focused on issues with Shorter.
The college wanted to pay for a new scoreboard at the Alto Park complex, with the understanding that it could remove the board if its contract with the RFPRA was ever terminated. Garland refused.
The college also has been waiting 14 months for permission to install an ice machine at the complex. The NCAA requires ice on site at all games, for medical purposes.
Other complaints included Garland’s refusal to let Shorter’s softball team park cars at Alto Park while attending away games, and his rejection of a request to erect a tent on Maddox Track.
“To further compound the issue, his attitude toward the SU staff has been negative, disrespectful and counterproductive,” the memo states.