BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Maryland Terrapin and Chicago Bulls forward Keith Booth was fired as head basketball coach of his alma mater at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School on Monday.
Booth said in a statement that the incident in question concerned an “inappropriate interaction” between two Dunbar students who were under his supervision at the time.
WJZ obtained a letter from Dunbar Principal Yetunde Reeves sent to parents informing them of Booth’s firing. In the letter, the Reeves asked that parents avoid “speculation and gossip regarding the matter.”
Booth told WJZ he followed protocol in reporting the matter and that wants to defend his reputation.
In a statement, Booth said, in part:
“Unfortunately, I did not become aware of that interaction until several weeks later, and suffice it to say, I then took all appropriate actions that I believe to be correct and relevant to ensure that the situation was properly and fully reported to parents and to the administration.”
Booth said his 16 years as a coach are rooted in a calling to help young people; something he said he will continue to pursue.
“When your intentions are pure, you have a good heart, and you’re approaching it with the number one factor of these kids in mind which is what we did,” Booth said. “That’s the only thing you can ask for and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to finish this situation, but again, as an adult, I’ll be fine.”
Booth is confident he will continue his coaching career in Baltimore.
“This is my hometown,” Booth said. “Nothing is going to run me out of my town in terms of this situation when you know within yourself, you can sleep at night, lay your head down and go home to your family knowing you’ve done things the right way.”