Bogus Coach Spouts Threats Against Student Caller to Show (April 1, 1988)

Miami Herald April 1, 1988 by Marty Rosen

High school student Allan Dresner, home on spring break, was listening to his favorite radio talk show Thursday morning when a caller threatened to have the 17-year-old suspended because of his regular calls to the show.

Dresner knew just what to do. “I freaked out. I started dialing fast,” said the Cooper City High School senior, who has gained notoriety among his classmates for his daily calls to acid-tongued talk show host Neil Rogers on radio station WZTA, 94.9 FM.

Dresner often is the butt of Rogers’ jokes. But he wasn’t laughing Thursday, nor were dozens of outraged listeners who flooded the switchboard at Cooper City High with complaints as the prankster escalated his threats against Rogers’ fans at the school.

The caller — who apparently listened to Rogers’ daily insults and verbal volleys with the teen — called on the air a second time. Identifying himself as “Coach Conway at Cooper City High,” he promised to suspend any Cooper City student who called the morning show.

There is no Coach Conway at the school, Cooper City High officials said.

Dresner tried to get through. “The coach got through three times, and I couldn’t get through at all,” he said.

On the third call, the prankster promised to suspend any student who even listened to Roger’s controversial show.

“The guy was screaming and yelling that Neil was promoting homosexuality and Communism. I couldn’t believe it,” said listener Katie De La Cruz, 22, of Miami. She drove to work and called the high school to complain.

Rogers’ boss, program director Pete Bolger, wouldn’t comment on the incident. Rogers did not return calls from The Herald.

Unsuspecting Cooper City High administrator Gina Ferrazzo was helping with the switchboard when the first calls came in.

“We had business people calling. We had parents calling. We had lawyers calling,” she said. Some warned school officials about the onair high jinks, others complained, believing that the school really would suspend students who listened to the show.

“Then it got kind of crazy, and Mr. Rogers called us. He wanted to know if we had anybody on our staff named Conway,” she said. “It’s nothing we condone here. It’s strictly kid stuff.”

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