Ruling benches Isler again

CNJ staff

A federal judge in Albuquerque has lifted a restraining order that allowed Clovis High boys basketball coach J.D. Isler to continue to coach this season, according to his attorney, Warren Frost.

Frost said the ruling Tuesday night by judge Martha Vasquez means Isler’s coaching season may be over.

Isler, in his ninth season at Clovis, is accused of recruiting players. He was suspended for a year by the New Mexico Activities Association in mid-December.

School officials have since fired Isler from coaching, though he continues in his position as a teacher with the district. Isler has denied the allegations against him.

Isler said late Tuesday his attorney will ask NMAA and Clovis Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm to allow Isler to coach the team at least until Feb. 16 when another court hearing is scheduled.

“In my mind, it’s not about me, it’s about the kids and their chance to go on and have a successful season,” Isler said.

“Nothing has been decided as far as the validity of the charges. I’m hoping they won’t punish the kids, but just let this play out in the courts after the season is over.”

Seidenwurm said Tuesday night she had not heard from the court. But she said the NMAA, not the school district, initially suspended Isler from coaching.

“It’s the NMAA’s call,” she said.

The Wildcats (10-8) host Hobbs in their district opener Friday.

District Judge Teddy Hartley issued a temporary restraining order Dec. 18 suspending all actions taken by Clovis schools and the NMAA.

“If the true goal is to do what is best for the athletes, they will not devastate the season … by not allowing Coach Isler to coach,” Frost said.