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District setting up meeting for coach facing solicitation charge

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 12:45 AM
TAMPA -

Spoto High baseball coach Larry Benton must meet with the Hillsborough school district's professional standards staff following his arrest Saturday on a misdemeanor charge of soliciting another to commit prostitution.

School district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said today that because it is summer, no action following the arrest has immediately been taken.

"We are still in the process of trying to get him a letter telling him he needs to meet with professional standards and discuss the situation," Cobbe said.

Benton, 50, was arrested at 6500 N. Nebraska Ave. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail at 2:39 a.m. Saturday and released that morning after posting $250 bail.

Benton has been Spoto's baseball coach since the program started in 2007. A 1977 King High grad, Benton also has had coaching stints at Tampa Bay Tech and Leto high schools.

During the 2009 season, Benton was suspended from coaching duties while school administrators investigated three undisclosed incidents. Spoto Principal Clyde Trathowen reinstated Benton within a week after the investigation revealed no wrongdoing on Benton's part. Benton missed just one game with the Spartans, who finished 13-11 for their first winning season.

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