Paso Robles torn over football coach syrup incident

November 2, 2016

syrup coach

The fallout from a raunchy high school football locker room incident that was caught on camera is dividing the city of Paso Robles. Some parents, students and city residents are calling for the Paso Robles High School coach to lose his job, while others are fiercely defending him.

On Oct. 14, following a football game against San Luis Obispo High School, video was recorded showing longtime Paso Robles Head Coach Rich Schimke pouring syrup in the belly button of player Joe Moscato, 17, who was lying shirtless on the ground. Then, with the rest of the team watching and screaming, Schimke appears to lick the syrup in Moscato’s belly button. However, the footage does not clearly show whether or not Schimke licked the syrup or if his tongue made contact with Moscato’s body.

About a week after the incident, Moscato’s mother, Heather Moscato, obtained the video. Heather Moscato alerted authorities, prompting both the Paso Robles Police Department and the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District to launch investigations. The police department concluded Schimke did not do anything criminal.

School district officials have yet to conclude their investigation, but Superintendent Chris Williams released a statement saying the district has reviewed the video and is concerned about what occurred. Schimke has been on administrative leave throughout the period in which district officials have been investigating the incident.

On Saturday, Heather Moscato published a Facebook post detailing her concerns with the incident.

“All I expected when I signed my little boy up as an 11-year-old Bearcat was that a) my son was safe b) he was being led by role models and moral behavior,” Heather Moscato wrote. “October 14, 2016 proved to me that neither of these were true. The general backlash and petitioning for reinstatement shows me that mindsets need to change here.”

Bob Bartosh a Ventura attorney representing Schimke, has told media that Heather Moscato’s account of the incident is wrong. Bartosh said Joe Moscato received a bottle of syrup as a reward for having the most “pancake” blocks,, and the player asked to have the syrup poured on him. Schimke then poured the syrup and pretended to lick it, Bartosh said.

The Tribune reports that a source inside the locker room corroborated the attorney’s account of the incident. Also, Senior wide receiver Seth Matthysse said nothing illegal occurred and the allegations were blown out of proportion.

Schimke has been the head coach at Paso Robles High School since 1999. Assistant coach Matt Carroll is currently serving as interim head coach.

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Ladies & Gentlemen,

This suspension of Mr. Rich Schimke is so over the top, it’s ridiculous.

I played football for Coach Schimke when we won a CIF championship in Paso Robles, and I can attest that Mr. Schimke is a fine coach, teacher AND mentor. This attempt to impugn his reputation is beyond depraved, and the helicopter mom who claims she is protecting her baby from this evil man must be a complete loony.

So everyone can get the story straight, let’s review: Coach Schimke, in encouraging legal ‘pancake blocking’, gave out a bottle of syrup to the ‘Pancake Champion’. The athlete, in his exuberance, played down on the floor and asked to have the syrup poured on him. His coach, perhaps also being exuberant, poured the syrup onto the athlete and pretended to lick it off. End of story.

In conclusion, the person who ought to be punished is the young man who felt comfortable recording cell phone video in a bathroom and locker room. Perhaps, Coach Schimke can be reminded that every single word or action can be interpreted and reinterpreted. Perhaps the athlete should not have asked to have the syrup poured on him, but hey, people are people and it is easy for teams to get caught up in a moment.

Folks, I think what we ought to do is have ‘Rich Schimke Day’ in Paso Robles. Perhaps we can have the members of each and every team that Coach Schimke has ever taught and coached. Perhaps we can have the whole town, except about 19 people who bizarrely, think this is some big deal which ought to end Mr. Schimke’s career, attend as a way to thank coach for everything he has done to help THOUSANDS of young men grow into contributing adults.

Shame on political correctness.

Just saying,


Are all football players perverts? Why are they always smacking each others bottoms?

In all of this, the victim is a 17 year old young man called Joe. In today’s world this was probably a bad idea and in judgment but certainly harmless as Joe requested the pour on the belly button. This was a group of young men celebrating a fun and exciting win and thank to a over reacted mother but didn’t even take the time to speak with the coach has created a very difficult situation for her son. I for one would never invite this young man into my home for fear of this mom’s actions. This young man will have to live with this through the end of his high school years and into the future at 10, 20, 25 class reunions, friendships, etc. He will have to relive this innocent incident many times as I am sure he already has.

We should all as parents be protective of our children, listen to the facts, go ahead and report as she did, talk to the coaches, other kids, etc. and then respond accordingly, not making yourself the victim.

If she is so concerned about her children and teaching them the right things in life, maybe she should teach her other son, Jason, how to respect women if you look at his vile posting of a naked drawing of a woman in FULL DETAIL laying on the ground with her legs in the air with this post from Facebook…”Feeling sexy and confident in my business attire. Buy your new interview outfit at”. Good job Mom!

I played high school football years ago 1964-1968 there was lots of goofy things done among the team and coaches and we all bonded and had fun and good lives. The world is becoming sis-a -fied.

And football coaches were sexually assaulting boys in the showers at Penn State. But I guess exposing that and sending people to prison is another indication of our sissification. Or maybe people are more cautious now because of the history of abhorrent behavior by sports coaches, priests, boy scout troop leaders, and other people who were in positions of trust with young people.

This was done in front of the whole team….It’s reported the the Kid gave his consent….it doesn’t even come close to Penn State.

Please read my comment again. I didn’t compare this situation to Penn State. The point is that PSU and other situations have led people to be more cautious about how they behave. And just because someone “consents” doesn’t mean the conduct by the person in position of power and trust acts appropriately in doing that thing. The kid could have “consented” to the coach punching him in the face but that doesn’t make it appropriate conduct for the coach.

Is a coach not an educator? Assuming he or she is, what possible teaching moment was the result of the coaches behavior?

If this incident had happened in a classroom, rather than a locker room there most certainly would be different reactions. Why the double standard?

Persons in positions of trust and assumed leadership should NOT act in this manner. he should be fired.

The coach is also on the facaulty….it was reported on tv that if he loses his coach job, he will still teach…..different contracts was the reason given

Well perhaps he’ll try the same thing again…only in the classroom. The reaction should be interesting.

The war on Boys continues….

Should the coach do this even if pretending? ….no

(obviously can be seen in a different angle)

Should the police and school district investigate? …yes

(police found nothing illegal, district wants to show it did something)

If nothing illegal occurred, should everything go back to normal…? I think so…

I’m sure coach thought this was a reward event, nothing negative but a positive situation that he wishes never happened the way it did now. Was there a malice intent to do this? Obviously not. It seems to be a bad game of “telephone” and the mom has got it all wrong and out of context. She wasn’t there and she believes there is something more. The police investigated and found nothing. The district wants to distance itself from lawsuit potential by saying “Look, we don’t like it so we at least suspended him”.

Perhaps nothing criminal was done but there was a serious lack of judgement. Don’t we want our football coaches, teachers, educators, to have good judgement? How stupid do you have to be to think that this wouldn’t be an issue? Sorry, but the coach has to go. Everyone should realize that some mistakes come with a heavy price to pay. Just end it an move on.

I can’t tell what happened from the picture but in any case the coach used very poor judgement in doing anything like this especially in todays society where a possible innocent action can be interpreted as something completely different. Thirty or forty years ago this would be laughed at as a joke but not today so as they say buyer beware because todays standards are different.

The part I find frustrating but not surprising is that so many people will jump on the bandwagon to support a football coach in a football town. If this involved a tennis coach, swim coach, golf coach, or softball coach, most people would be happy to see him dangle. But any perceived attacks on a football program are akin to treason. He’s been cleared of criminal activity, but let the district do its work in investigating the incident. The player statements I’ve read online are so similar they read like a canned response that was drafted for them. Anyone who is lobbying for the investigation to end because the coach is “a good man” doesn’t have the best interests of the students in mind.

We have reached Peak Football. NFL ratings are down to criminals who engage in Black Panther Protests during the National Anthem. Less and less kids are going out for football, instead they are playing sports like soccer that are safer. There are still some idiots who defend football coaches and put them on a pedestal, like the Baylor alumni who wanted Coach Art Briles brought back after his players were engaging in sexual assaults. But on the whole, football is declining. I predict football is going to become like boxing, a violent sport that exists in the shadows, rarely seen on TV, and relies on the poor to fill its ranks because no one else wants to risk brain damage for a sport.

It the only thing that’s going to happen here is Joe Moscato’s social standing will take a beating. The helicopter mom will lose friends and the world will keep on turning. Was the coach over the line? Probably. Was there permanent damage to Joe? Before the incident was reported, no….after yes.

Should this open high school prank cost the coach his job? No

Maybe is the parent has talked to the coach first, before calling the cops, this woulda had a better ending.

The FB posts by the mom is nothing more than an attempt to explain how she over reacted

Damned Shane all around

Jeez, I really hitched this….admins, how about an edit feature…long overdue

There’s a fine line between character building and soul destroying.This coach should go!

Definitely a “sticky” situation but I’m sure someone will want to get rich from a lawsuit now.

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