HIGHLAND, Utah (ABC 4 News) - There is a lot of unanswered questions about a financial scandal going on at Lone Peak High School. Former Head Football Coach, Tony McGeary is accused of illegally pocketing money from the team. But, why would he allegedly have done it? Could salary have been a motivation? ABC 4’s Brian Carlson investigates.
The man screaming fans call "Touchdown Tony" is struggling to shake off a financial scandal.
Lone Peak High School's former championship Football Coach Tony McGeary is accused of illegally pocketing thousands of dollars from his players, including $5,735 from money leftover from a 2012 high school football camp at Utah State University Eastern. Last week it all came out in a 42 page complaint and McGeary was later forced to resign. If the allegations are true - why would the championship coach risk his job? Did he need the money?
Tuesday Reporter Brian Carlson looked up his yearly salary on a website listing Utah's public employees, and he found last year McGeary made $118,509. But when Carlson showed the report to a spokesperson with the Alpine School District, they said the numbers aren't what they seem.
"Things can be deceiving when you look at things like that without understanding the context behind them," said Rhonda Bromley, Alpine School District Spokesperson.
Bromley told Carlson the salary report includes Coach McGeary's health benefits valued at $38,924.
"That's the amount, if it was in dollar form. That's how much his benefits are worth,” said Bromley.
“So he wasn't paid that directly?” Carlson asked.
“No. He wasn't paid that directly," said Bromley.
That bumps down McGeary’s salary from $118,509 to $79,585 which includes $3,960 that was likely his coaching salary.
How does that compare to other coaches? One successful coach in the Salt Lake City School District makes $58,412. And a highly successful coach in the Jordan School District makes $80,796.
So looking at his McGeary's salary, it may be tough to tell why he allegedly chose to take money from the team. So Carlson thought the best way to find out was to go to McGeary’s home and ask him directly.
"I wanted to know if you wanted to talk about any of this.” Carlson asked.
“I'd love to, but I can't. Yah. They won't let me," said Tony McGeary, former Lone Peak High School Football Coach.
Carlson asked McGeary, “Who won't let him?” But McGeary didn't want to discuss that. He said he's not ready to talk about anything yet.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson