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Renowned baseball coach’s position in peril after being caught shoplifting bats and a glove from Walmart

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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Blue Ridge coach Travis Henson with 2012 award winners at a team banquet — GreenvilleCountyAthletics

Blue Ridge coach Travis Henson with 2012 award winners at a team banquet — GreenvilleCountyAthletics

Of all the ways for a prominent coach to imperil their job, shoplifting sporting goods from a Walmart isn’t a common one.

In fact, before Greer (S.C.) Blue Ridge High baseball coach Travis Henson was caught in the act, the idea of Walmart proving the site of a coach’s unraveling may not have even been a known possibility. Now, Henson faces charges of shoplifting, value $1,000 or less and his future as a baseball coach in the state of South Carolina may be at jeopardy.

As reported by GoUpstate.com, Henson was arrested after he was videotaped by Walmart security cameras attempting to steal two baseball bats and a baseball glove from a Walmart store in Spartanburg. According to police reports, Henson took the three items from the sporting goods department and placed them in Walmart bags in a different department, then left the store.

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Blue Ridge baseball coach Travis Henson — Greenville.K12.SC.US

Blue Ridge baseball coach Travis Henson — Greenville.K12.SC.US

Apparently Henson might have gotten away with the theft on foot, if it weren’t for a guilty conscience. The coach reportedly returned the items to their original spots on the store racks, at which point the Walmart loss prevention staff approached him and contacted police.

Henson’s arrest sent shockwaves through the Carolina baseball community, both because of his act and his status as one of North and South Carolina’s more accomplished and respected coaches. Henson won three Class 1A state championships while leading Landrum (S.C.) High and a National Christian Colleges Athletic Association national title in 2010 while in charge of North Greenville (S.C.) College.

The coach has also been named South Carolina Class 1A baseball coach of the year a remarkable four times.

There was no initial word on why Henson had decided to steal the bats and glove, nor would Blue Ridge athletic director Sherri Windsor commit to the coach’s long term future, though he was put on administrative leave after his arrest.

Regardless, the act spoke to a man’s desperation for one reason or another, and his poor timing in coming back to his moral center.

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