Oct 26, 2011 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Skaneateles CSD has submitted its final report to Section III Athletics regarding its investigation into allegations that coaches on the Skaneateles High School varsity football team illegally recruited players from other school districts.
The six-page report to John Rathbun, executive director of Section III Athletics, prepared by Thomas W. Seeley of the school district’s law firm Milford, Lynch & Shannon, lays out five specific allegations of recruitment that the district determined rose to the level of “knowledge of an infraction” by members of the varsity football coaching staff under the NYSPHAA bylaws.
These specific incidents included reports from multiple student athletes and football coaches of other school districts, as well as Skaneateles district employees, stating first-hand evidence of illegal recruitment activities.
The report was released on Oct. 26. Section III officials have scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday, Oct. 28.
Both Skaneateles Schools Superintendent Phil D’Angelo and Skaneateles Board of Education President Evan Dreyfuss said the district will have no comment on the report until Section III officials give their respond, which it is hoped will come sometime next week.
John Rathbun, executive director of Section III Athletics did not return a call for comment.
The varsity football head coach, Tim Green, said, when questioned about the allegations, that he had not engaged in any recruitment activity nor was he aware of anyone else engaging in recruitment activities on behalf of the Skaneateles school district, according to the report.
Green did not respond to calls for comment, but told YNN News the report “is based on rumors, exaggerations and innuendos on unnamed sources. So there is nothing you can do, and you can’t assign credibility to it and I don’t think that you can assign blame to anyone.”
He said practices for Saturday’s semi-final game against Utica will go on as scheduled.
The report also concludes that after extensive investigations, all members of the varsity football were determined to be eligible to play football for the 2011 season.
The report stated that the Skaneateles school district was made aware of recruiting allegations against the varsity football coach beginning in March 2010, some of them stemming from interactions between the coach and certain attendees of the three-day Tim Green Football Camp hosted in Skaneateles in summer 2010.
The district opened an investigation in May 2011 and interviewed more than 60 individuals.
“The process took significantly longer than had been expected due to the nature, quality and volume of information provided coupled with the apparent lack of clarity with respect to the NYSPHAA rules,” the report stated.
The Skaneateles CSD also stated in the report its “deep dissatisfaction” with the NYSPHAA Handbook and its lack of guidance on how a district specifically determines whether recruitment and undue influence actually occurred.
Section III Athletics now will review the report and make its own determination or recommendations to the school district as to what, if any, actions must be taken to address the issue.
The possible penalties Section III could levy against the district range from educating the district’s coaches on the regulations regarding recruiting to putting the district on probation to sanctioning the district and not allowing Skaneateles to host any sectional games in any sport, or, the harshest possible penalty, declaring some or all of the team’s previous victories forfeit.
The Lakers have an 8-0 record this season, and are scheduled to play in the Section C semi-final game against Utica Notre Dame on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.