Gov. Jim Justice has filed a grievance over the decision by the Greenbrier County Board of Education not to hire him as the Greenbrier East boys high school basketball coach. Justice already coaches the girls team.
As has been reported, that grievance goes to the superintendent, who, in this case, is Jeff Bryant, a supporter of Justice who also works as entertainment director at The Greenbrier resort, which Justice owns.
That sets up a potential conflict of interest where the decision could be delegated to a designee.
Justice has his supporters for the job. Bryant and Greenbrier East Principal Ben Routson back Justice, saying he is the most qualified applicant, based on his years of experience and winning record.
Additionally, several backers of Justice appeared before the board Tuesday. Marion Gordon, a longtime teacher at Greenbrier East and an assistant coach under Justice for the girls’ team, said Justice is an excellent coach.
“Let his record speak for itself,” Gordon said. “He very seldom misses practices. Coach’s record pretty much speaks for itself.” Justice previously coached the boys team, where his record was 319-125. His record as girls coach is 493-172.
Justice has said he would leave the boys team practices to his assistants, but he would coach the games.
So, we’re still talking about this?
Justice is a driven individual. His campaign declaration of a “rocket ship ride” for the state’s economy is a prime example of how he believes that whatever he conceives, he can achieve. Spend a few minutes with Justice and he will have you convinced he can govern the state, make multi-million-dollar decisions for his many companies and coach two high school basketball teams.
He also is a man that does not like to hear the word “no.” As the state’s chief executive and a businessman, that life approach often serves him well. Justice can put the full force of his power and personality in play to overcome objections.
However, sometimes no means no, and there are instances where you are on the losing end of a fight. It is important to recognize those moments and respond with grace, rather than obstinance.
It is petty for the highest statewide elected official, the face of the state, a national figure who continues to guide the state through a worsening pandemic, to file a grievance over not getting a high school basketball coaching job.
That sounds like Justice’s ego is bruised and he is going to charge ahead, regardless of what the locally elected board has decided or what the public perception might be.
Let it go, governor.