MOULTRIE, Ga. – The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has concluded its investigation into former Colquitt County High School head football coach Rush Propst, but the matter has not been closed.
The PSC met on Thursday and made a probable cause determination in the case concerning Propst, according to an email from Kevin Shumake, the assistant director of the PSC’s Ethics Division.
“The commission staff will still be unable to discuss details of the investigation or provide anything from the investigation files since the matter is now in a due process stage,” Shumake wrote.
“In other words, this matter before the commission is not closed/concluded.”
Propst coached Colquitt County High School’s football team for 11 seasons, taking the Packers to the state championship game five times, winning twice.
But on March 14, the Board of Education relieved him of his coaching duties after an investigation by Schools Superintendent Doug Howell that concluded Propst had violated five standards of the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators.
Propst also was placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation by the PSC, which resolves issues of teacher certification.
The PSC notified Howell of its intention to launch its own investigation the same day as the Board of Education voted to fire Propst.
The board has since hired former Jones County head football coach Justin Rogers to replace Propst, who went 119-35 while in Colquitt County.
Propst has claimed that much of the information in the investigation into his conduct “is totally false and the rest is misleading half-truths meant to damage my reputation and support pre-determined actions.”
He added that “I always expect ‘fair play,’ but I don’t believe it has happened in this instance.”
The case against Propst centered on accusations that he provided medication to players “on more than one occasion;” that he owed some $301,317 in federal income taxes and $143,000 in delinquent state taxes; that he interfered in the hiring of Jamie Dixon as the Colquitt County High School principal; that he attempted to charge $143.66 for a personal hotel stay to the school system; and that he appeared to have lost control of his football team, as shown by its conduct following the loss to Milton in the state championship game last December.
Howell’s report included emails, signed statements and government documents.
In his report, Howell said that, in his opinion, Propst violated Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators Standard No. 9: “And educators shall demonstrate conduct that follows generally recognized professional standards and preserves the dignity and integrity of the education process. Unethical conduct is any conduct that is detrimental to the health, welfare, discipline or morals of students.”