Lincoln Park basketball coach Pat Gordon has been suspended by Chicago Public Schools. Gordon says a hearing is scheduled on Monday to determine his status.
Lincoln Park interim principal John Thuet reached out to Gordon after the first of the year and said someone made an allegation that a sexual incident happened on the team’s trip to the Motor City Roundball Classic on Detroit in late December. The Lions played games in Detroit on Dec. 27-29.
Gordon and one assistant coach traveled with the team to Detroit. Team parents also helped chaperone.
According to a source, the CPS Office of Student Protections is investigating claims that a student had sex in Detroit, social media may be involved and that Gordon knew about it.
Gordon is not being accused of improper contact with a student.
“I knew nothing about this at all,” Gordon told the Sun-Times. “I had zero clue what he was talking about. I run a tight ship. We did a bed check at midnight. Three parents were up in the lobby playing cards until 1 or 1:30.”
A Lincoln Park player backed up Gordon’s claim that nothing happened on the trip.
“Everything is coming from a third party that wasn’t in Detroit,” Gordon said. “The person reached out to the principal, saying they saw a video that no one else I know has seen.”
Gordon maintains he did nothing wrong but said he would take responsibility if necessary. He did not coach in Lincoln Park’s overtime win at North Lawndale on Wednesday and will miss the Lions’ two games against Lane and Culver, Indiana, over the weekend. He’s not allowed on school grounds.
“I was totally blindsided,” Gordon said. “The kids were distraught [Wednesday] because [Thuet] told them right before they got on the bus [to North Lawndale]. The first half was abysmal, but then they got it together. They toughed it out and [senior Ismail Habib] had a great game. He played with a chip on his shoulder because of the situation.”
Thuet sent a letter to parents of the Lincoln Park basketball team on Thursday, which was provided to the Sun-Times by CPS.
“I’ve been made aware that members of the boys basketball team took an overnight trip over winter break that was not a school sponsored event,” Thuet wrote in the letter. “The staff member who led the trip has been removed from the school and the district is investigating this situation in accordance with CPS policy.”
Gordon, a former assistant coach at Loyola Academy, took over at Lincoln Park in 2015-16. He’s 86-46 in five seasons and has turned the program into a city powerhouse.