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By MATT DANIELS
Rantoul Press sports editor
Joe Bendoraitis is still Rantoul Township High School’s athletic director.
Why he hasn’t been at the school for the past few days, however, is a bit murkier.
RTHS Superintendent Scott Amerio confirmed Friday that Bendoraitis was not at the school Friday, nor was he at work Monday. Amerio said he did not know when Bendoraitis would return to work and declined to specify the reasons for Bendoraitis’ absence, citing a need to talk with the district’s attorney before making any further public comments.
A message left on Bendoraitis’ cell phone Monday was not returned by press time. A call to his RTHS office Monday was answered by RTHS administrative assistant
Linda Kirk, who said Bendoraitis was not in the office. Calls to the athletic director’s office are typically answered either by Bendoraitis or go straight to his voicemail.
Bendoraitis was also not at Friday night’s RTHS boys basketball home opener against Bloomington Central Catholic nor at RTHS' girls basketball home opener Monday night.
“It’s really too early in the process to make any public statement,” Amerio said. “He was not at work ( Friday), and he will not be at work the next few days. When we can share more information, we will, but it in no way involves anything with students or student safety.”
Bendoraitis, 30, is in his first year as the Eagles’ athletic director after he was hired in mid-May. The 2001 Lincoln-Way High School graduate, who played college football at Illinois State and McKendree, also doubles as the Eagles’ head football coach. RTHS went 1-8 in his debut season. Bendoraitis — who has had assistant coaching stops at Lincoln-Way East and Manteno high schools along with coaching stints with Olivet Nazarene University and Quincy University before coming to RTHS — held a meeting in early November to go through the winter strength and conditioning program he wants the Eagles on, with full intentions of returning to coach the Eagles in the 2013 season.