by Max Brantley
The Benton School Board constructively fired superintendent Tony Prothro Monday. It suspended him with pay (a package worth $200,000) through the end of his contract in June 2012, but didn't say why.
Saline County happens to be a buzzing hive of Internet information outlets and one of them, Insidesaline.com, posted an interview with the ousted school leader. He says he doesn't know the reason for his suspension. But the website posted some background about past controversies. Yep. Football.
The source said that “a series of events” led to the board’s action, which apparently was not planned prior to Monday night’s board meeting.
Prothro and the administration came under fire last year over the handling of the football stadium issue. More recently, Prothro was criticized in various circles for his e-mail comments pertaining to an Arkansas Activities Association ruling that forced Benton High School to forfeit its three football victories in 2010 for using two ineligible players. He suggested that the administration considered keeping news of the infraction silent because “self-reporting” the incident “might also demoralize the team and foster negativism concerning our football team, coaches, and players.”
Over on mysaline.com, commenters are also linking the development to a local tussle on location of the football field.