WESTON, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Playing a part in a filmgot a Connecticut basketball coach fired, but outraged supporters say there was no reason to cut the coach.
Businessman Mike Hvizdo is anxious to put his school colors back on.
The popular 6-foot-4 former basketball coach at Weston High School is now weeks into a battle to regain his old position after being forced out over a decade-old film he appeared in.
Hvizdo spoke exclusively with CBS 2’s Lou Young on Thursday.
“Coaching basketball is my biggest passion and I believe if you don’t have passion in life, you’re not living. These 30 kids are like my sons and they were ripped away from me,” Hvizdo said.
At issue is a 9-minute-long, black and white comedy short film called “Forbidden Fruit,” which was emailed to the school district by an anonymous tipster.
CBS 2’s Young said the film is reportedly vulgar, but contains no nudity.
After seeing it, the superintendent either fired Hvizdo or forced his resignation, depending on who you believe.
When asked if he was ashamed of the film, Hvizda responded “One hundred percent, no.”
“It’s an R-rated comedy that I portrayed a character in over a decade ago as a professional actor when I was living in New York City in my 20s,” Hvizdo+ said.
CBS 2’s Young tried to get a comment from someone at the school for two days to no avail.
Outraged parents however, were not so shy.
“It’s an injustice,” said one Westin parent.
Weston’s computers and the phones have been working overtime in Hvizdo’s defense. A recent school board meeting drew a large crowd of protesters. Many said they are baffled.
“He’s an excellent coach and a wonderful mentor to my son,” said parent Megan Couch.
Despite numerous attempts, CBS 2’s Young found no one willing to back the school board up publicly.
The film itself has been taken offline since the controversy, but people who have seen it, including Hvizda’s wife, said it’s harmless.
“It’s no worse than ‘The Hangover,’ more along the lines of ‘American Pie,’ in shorter form,” Carissa Hvizda said.
“I just want my job back!” Hvizdo said.
The deposed coach is meeting with attorneys to try to arrange a return to the court.
The coach has one other film to his credit. it’s called “The Naked Brothers Band,” which is rated “G” on Nickelodeon.
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