Alvin Harrison Pleads Guilty To DUI Charges
15 June 2011
Former Olympian and Gilroy High School track coach Alvin Harrison pleaded guilty to felony DUI charges this week in an Orange County courtroom.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years probation.
On April 7, Harrison, his twin brother, assistant track coach Ryan Johnston, and four Gilroy High School runners traveled to Southern California for a track meet.
Harrison was driving on Highway 73 just south of Santa Ana when he rammed into a 2000 Ford Expedition, police said. None of the high school track team runners was in the car, but his brother was injured.
Harrison was speeding, driving with a suspended license, and his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at 0.15, according to the California Highway Patrol. Officers arrested Harrison at the scene.
Since the crash, Gilroy High School fired Harrison, 37, from his position as head track coach. No one protested this decision by Gilroy High School.
However, the school board also fired the athletic director, Jack Daley, sparking an outcry. When the school board held a closed-door session on June 2, hundreds marched around the building waving signs and wearing T-shirts that read, "Bring Jack Back!"
"We are here to right the wrong, we want Jack back," parent Margie Hemeon said.
The school board declined to comment on removing Daley, saying it was a private personnel issue. Daley was the Gilroy High athletic director for 11 years.
Harrison has been scarred by controversy since becoming one of the greatest athletes to come out of Salinas.
Twin brothers Alvin and Calvin Harrison rose from being local track stars at North Salinas High School to sprinting on the U.S. Olympic team. They won gold medals in 1996 and 2006 with the 1,600-meter relay team.
But the stars lost their luster when they were stripped of their gold medals for using banned performance-enhancing steroids. Harrison told ESPN he started taking steroids when he injured his hip flexor and wanted to speed up his recovery processes.