Saratoga Springs school board appoints coaches accused of bullying in complaint

Two Saratoga Springs cross-country coaches named in a complaint filed by past students and parents claiming an abusive culture in sports have been reappointed to positions in the athletic program.

The Saratoga Springs Board of Education on Thursday appointed Arthur and Linda Kranick as the coach and assistant coach, respectively, of the girls varsity indoor track team.

The Kranicks, longtime cross-country coaches in the district, have been singled out by a group of former student-athletes and parents calling itself Safe Athletics for Everyone, saying they forced students to play through serious injuries, required them to practice year-round practices and demeaned them. They sent a letter to state officials and the district asking for an investigation.

Saratoga Springs school officials are doing that. At that same meeting, Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton updated the public about the investigation. The board has obtained the services of Harris BEACH law firm, of Buffalo, to conduct an independent review of the district’s athletic program. The review will be led by attorney Tracie Lopardi.

Patton said the firm will first examine the allegations in the SAFE complaint to determine if they were made known to the district at the time and how they were previously handled. The second objective will be to review all of the district’s athletic programs.

“The goal is to identify if there are any current issues of concern and to make recommendations to address them,” he said.

The investigation is going to take some time, according to Patton, but he did not mention specifics.

“The district has been fully cooperative in providing all of the documents that have been requested as part of the review,” he said.