Countdown 4:  I See Nothing!

On September 28, 2023 Richard Penland gave his best Sergeant Shultz impersonation when he wrote, In reading your email and attachment from today,  I have not yet identified a conflict of interest, but I will carefully examine this further to be sure.”

Here is the opening allegation of the attachment I sent Mr. Penland…

Frances Davies is the head coach of volleyball for Benbrook Middle-High School in FWISD (professional responsibility) and holds the position of Recruiting Coordinator for 212 Volleyball Club (personal business interest).

Apparently, words are a little above the comprehensive abilities of our fearless leader so let me try a picture…

Clarification: The duties performed by a Recruiting Coordinator are to get high school athletes recruited by colleges. Varsity coaches do this for their student-athletes and club teams do this for their players. This blog does not relate to when a varsity coach recruits a high school player to switch high schools for athletic purposes. For that violation all I can say is, stick around!

In her role as Head Coach of Benbrook Varsity Volleyball she gets paid by the public to perform recruiting coordinator services for the student-athletes at BMHS.  She doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) get extra money when someone on her roster receives an offer from a college.

In her role with a local club team, she gets paid by this private employer to perform those exact same services for every player in the club… including a subset of student-athletes from Benbrook… namely, those she can convince (and who can afford) to play on a team in her club.

I believe her private employer even pays her a bonus for any player who receives an offer from a college to play volleyball.

She has a vested financial interest in using the varsity team to improve the ability of Benbrook players who are also on a team in her club. Not only is this a blatant conflict of interest in fact, it is also a violation of UIL rules prohibiting school coaches from “coaching or instructing” players on a club team.  (Emphasis added.) Also, because she can use school resources to constantly improve club players she increases the odds they will get recruited by a college.

Maybe the reason Richard Penland can’t see the blatant conflict of interest is because the coaches at Benbrook own him. They know he lied to the UIL about enrollment so they know he is easily compromised.

Here is a quote from an interesting article located at the link provided. 

”The company later admitted a culture … of false records had become ‘normalised’ in its network.”

If you think this is an isolated instance within FWISD I invite you to read this article by Brian New of CBS News:

“I-Team: Whistleblower claims Fort Worth ISD ‘exploited’ students to earn state funding,” CBSNEWS TEXAS, November 11, 2022,

It’s time FWISD and its Board of Trustees acknowledge this is just how FWISD operates: students are pawns that they exploit for personal and professional profit.

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