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High School football team busted for recruiting violations

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High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Metroid » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:57 pm

This is pretty crazy, my high school plays this team every year. 8-o

Stockton Record wrote:LODI - Short of shutting down Franklin High School's football program, the governing body for area high school sports Tuesday issued the east Stockton school heavy-handed punishment for recruiting players from American Samoa.

Franklin head coach Tom Verner and Stockton Unified School District Superintendent Jack McLaughlin vow to fight the sanctions, even if that means challenging the ruling in court.

California Interscholastic Federation, Sac-Joaquin Section commissioner Pete Saco in a news conference at the section's Lodi headquarters announced his decision to have the team forfeit all games back to the 2005 season and ban the team from playoff games for the next five years. He made three current Franklin players from American Samoa ineligible from any school sports this school year.

The section will appoint two monitors paid for by Franklin to ensure players in the coming seven years meet eligibility requirements, said Saco, flanked by section attorney Scott Donald, who led the Franklin investigation.

"Obviously, the litany of evidence is overwhelming, it's irrefutable and, to be perfectly honest, it's quite disturbing," Saco said. "This calculated and purposeful scheme was a concerted effort by Franklin High School personnel over a significant period of time."

The sanctions stem from a six-month probe in which the section uncovered 54 recruiting violations involving 10 players since 2005. Franklin circumvented bylaws by approaching potential players in American Samoa, promising airline tickets and lodging for players and their parents, and filing false eligibility papers, Saco said.

The investigation found that Franklin spent an estimated $68,504 toward recruiting since 2005.

"It's an unfortunate situation ... that innocent kids do get penalized," Saco said. "The responsibility does lie with the administration as well."

Saco said he regretted doling out punishment to innocent Franklin players and young athletes who anticipate attending Franklin. The CIF has 10 sections in the state; the Sac-Joaquin Section oversees more than 180 schools from Merced to Grass Valley.

"This needs to be done for the 180 schools in our section that do follow our rules," Saco said. "I think it's a wake-up call for everybody within the Sac-Joaquin Section and I hope across the state of California."

Verner, a Stockton housing developer who has coached the team since 1994, deferred comment Tuesday to McLaughlin, only saying that his innocence will be borne out over time.

"We've done nothing wrong," Verner said. "We've got nothing to worry about, and we'll be going to court."

McLaughlin, in a one-page written statement, blamed Saco for "turning these matters into a media circus." Saco is guilty of failing to follow the appropriate procedure that resulted in "arbitrary and capricious" punishment, McLaughlin's statement said.

"The improper procedures employed by the CIF here - railroading and including endless accusation in the press - set a bad example for everyone," McLaughlin said. "It's shocking, and it's not what the CIF is supposed to be about."

McLaughlin later Tuesday walked onto the practice field at Franklin to tell players directly he supports them. At least one of the three players involved in the investigation was seen among the huddle, despite Saco's ruling.

Saco and section attorney Donald would not name the players recruited from American Samoa, but The Record through court papers has identified the three current recruits as Storm Macomber, Vincent Maene and Bruce Seumanutafa, all age 17.

According to papers filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court, Gwendolyn Seumaala seeks guardianship of the three boys. Seumaala is married to Steve Seumaala, a volunteer with the Franklin team and sister-in-law to Jeff Seumaala, an assistant coach. The guardianship would establish local residency in the Franklin area.

Saco said this is the most severe punishment he has handed down or recalled hearing of in his 15 years as section commissioner. It could have been more harsh.

Donald said under section bylaws, Saco had the authority to declare a "death penalty" for Franklin, a term used for eliminating the varsity football team. Saco's ruling allows Franklin to play its remaining four league games, but the results of those games - and Franklin's game against Lincoln last Friday - won't count in league standings.

Franklin was 5-1 so far this season and 19-9 going back to the beginning of the 2005 season. Now that record will read 0-28.

Saco's jurisdiction stops at sanctioning the Franklin team. He does not have the authority to order Verner punished or fired. Saco said he met with Franklin High Principal Scott Luhn in February 2006. Luhn had assured Saco that he was watching the team, Saco said.

"There needs to be some serious discussion in the district," Saco said.

Saco said he could not estimate how much money he spent on the investigation but said that figure would be available later.

Franklin has a right to appeal Saco's ruling to the section, which would convene a three-person panel to review the decision. Franklin can then appeal to the state CIF office before filing a lawsuit in civil court.
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Re: High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Nfl Fan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:08 pm

Metroid wrote:California Interscholastic Federation, Sac-Joaquin Section commissioner Pete Saco in a news conference at the section's Lodi headquarters announced his decision to have the team forfeit all games back to the 2005 season and ban the team from playoff games for the next five years. He made three current Franklin players from American Samoa ineligible from any school sports this school year.


Whoa... that's hard core! !+)
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Yo, Met... thanks for the sig! GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This NEVER gets old and neither does THIS!!
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Re: High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Guru13 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:13 pm

The investigation found that Franklin spent an estimated $68,504 toward recruiting since 2005.
wow, that's a lot of money for a High School Organization, that's nuts.
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Re: High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Metroid » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:31 pm

FantasyFutballGuru13 wrote:
The investigation found that Franklin spent an estimated $68,504 toward recruiting since 2005.
wow, that's a lot of money for a High School Organization, that's nuts.

Yeah thats what I thought. You should see Franklin's campus...lets just say it isn't one of the finer schools in the area. In fact it's one of the rougher ones, they finally got lights for their field so they could play at night just a few years ago. :-b
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Re: High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Atog » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:55 pm

I half expected the high school in question to be Detroit Country Day :-°
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Re: High School football team busted for recruiting violations

Postby Tiki » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:37 pm

My high school recruited, granted I couldn't prove it, nor would I want to. It's not conventional recruiting, but could be considered recruiting, and is by most other schools they toss in sports. What can ya do, it's not nearly as crazy as that though...
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