Brendan Bean, one of South Jersey’s top high school baseball players, will transfer from Wildwood High School as soon as possible, his father, Matt Bean, said Thursday night.
Both Beans said a lack of respect from the coaches and the athletic and academic administrations were the reasons for the junior's decision to transfer.
“I think it’s best for me if I stopped playing for the program,” Brendan Bean, 16, said. “I’m not going to bad mouth their program, but it’s not the right place for me. Some things happened, a simple lack of respect. I want to go somewhere where I’m respected and it’s fun to play. I had that taken away from me this year. I want to be around positive people who have my best interest in mind.”
Rich Hans, Wildwood’s baseball coach, and Travis LaFerriere, the athletic director, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Wildwood High School has a freshman-through-junior enrollment of 188 students, according to …
Wildwood High School principal Philip Schaffer emailed a statement to the Press late Thursday night.
"Academic information and decisions of students and their parents are personal and confidential, therefore we cannot comment on them. With that said, we are very proud of our academic and athletic programs at Wildwood High School.
"Our Warrior baseball team is in the midst of an incredible season and have committed to hard work and their teammates. The focus of our athletic programs in order of priority is: sportsmanship, fun, and good competition. Head coach and Wildwood alumnus Rich Hans has an unrivaled commitment to his players in his 16th season at the helm. We are very excited to see where our Warriors are headed, beginning with the Diamond Classic Tournament this weekend."
Matt Bean said his son will transfer to Cape May Tech, where he likely would have to sit out the rest of this season and some portion of his 2017 senior season.
The Beans, who live in Wildwood, said they have a lawyer who hopes to have the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's 30-day transfer wait period waived because Brendan’s transfer will be in the student’s best interest. The NJSIAA governs most high school sports in the state.
“This isn’t something we wanted to happen,” Matt Bean said. “He’s not doing this for a competitive advantage. This is about a kid being a kid and being treated with respect, and that comes first.”
Bean hasn't played for Wildwood since April 26, when he injured his leg during a game against Wildwood Catholic. He is 5-0 with a 1.39 ERA and batting .429 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 13 games.
Last season, Bean led the Warriors to the South Jersey Group I final and was a first-team Press All-Star. He batted .538 with 30 runs scored and 25 RBIs. Bean also went 3-4 with a 1.40 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings.
Matt Bean said he would go to Wildwood High School today to pick up his son’s transcripts. They planned to visit Cape May Tech later today and hope to have Brendan enrolled at the school by Monday.
The younger Bean is at the top of his class academically and has committed to go to the University of Pennsylvania. He can sign his National Letter of Intent in November.
“No one likes to sit and watch,” Bean said. “I love being out there more than anything. It has to be done.”
Frustrations with the Wildwood baseball program built over the past couple of years, Matt Bean said.
This past week, Matt Bean said, neither LaFerriere nor Schaffer considered Brendan’s side when the family went to them about an issue they had with Hans.
“The administration didn’t back him when he went to them about some things that happened on the field and in the program,” Matt Bean said. “He was left on an island. I give him a lot of credit. He has a ton of integrity.”
Bean chose to go to Cape May Tech because it’s roughly 15 minutes from his Wildwood home and he has a lot of friends on the Hawks’ baseball team.
He will play baseball this summer for the 17-under U.S. Arsenal National Team. He hopes to build his draft stock for the 2017 MLB draft and prepare for his senior season at Cape May Tech.
There are two weeks to go in the regular season. Wildwood (13-6) will play Eastern Regional, ranked third in The Press Elite 11, at 1 p.m. Saturday in a Diamond Classic matchup at Washington Township. The Warriors will play in the elite invitation-only tournament for the first time.