PATERSON, N.J. - On Friday afternoon, the district issued a statement saying that Eastside athletic director Gregory Cooper was suspended, as well as, Eastside girls basketball coach Ray Lyde Jr. and Natalie Jordan were suspended from both their teaching and coaching positions.
This comes amid new revelations in the ongoing investigation into the boys basketball program after the girls basketball program also seemed to have foreign nationals playing on their team without the proper paperwork. The Eastside girls team is dropped from the conference tournament, they were not in the county tournament.
The district released this statement today:
The Paterson Public School District continues with its Eastside Athletics investigation, led by former Justice John Wallace; and as stated previously, we take this matter very seriously – especially as it pertains to the wellbeing of our students. We have continued to work in cooperation with the NJSIAA and Justice John Wallace and have already withdrawn the Eastside Boys Basketball team from the County and State tournaments. Today, we have notified the NJSIAA of our decision to also withdraw the Eastside Girls Basketball team from the 2017 NJSIAA State Tournament (they are not playing in the County tournament).
This decision comes as part of an ongoing investigation which lead to the suspension of both the head coach Juan Griles and assistant coach Al Maldonado. Griles is being investigated by Division of Child Protection and Permanency for child welfare issuing stemming from six players, four of which are Nigerian nationals, two of which are Puerto Rican nationals.
NJ.com came out with an explosive report that it found the six players to be living with Griles. They photographed and recording the students leaving Griles house on multiple mornings and moved to obtain school records. This investigation was stated when a district teacher allegedly found one of the students sleeping in a Dunkin Donuts in the city, after being exiled from the house by the coach.
The district also announced that "Mr. Scott Durham, Athletics Supervisor at JFK, will now also oversee Eastside’s athletics for the remainder of the school year reporting directly to Mr. David Cozart, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools. Mr. Larry White, Assistant Director for the NJSIAA, has agreed to provide professional development and guidance to Mr. Durham and Ms. Anna Adams, Director of Physical Education, Athletics & Health Service".