Shiloh High footballers could have just taken it easy for the past season. It won't count anyhow.
Following months of doubts, inquiry and upheaval, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) has decided to yank the only two wins that the team received in the previous season because three students should not have been playing.
GHSA Executive Director Ralph Swearngin issued the directive on May 30, finding that the athletes were ineligible transfer students from North Atlanta High in the spring of 2011. Specifically, Swearngin's penalty letter says the students violated by-law 1.72c, which states:
"A student-athlete transferring from one member school to another shall be ruled ineligible for one year because of 'undue influence' if it is proven that the player who played for a coach at a former GHSA school followed that coach when he/she moved to another GHSA school."
Those students -- Tyler Claytor, Michael Oden and Stephen Weatherly -- have now been publicly named in GHSA documents received by Patch. They have since graduated from Shiloh High School, and are moving on to college programs.
Another involved student, Wil Larimore, was deemed to have had a "bona fide move," according to the documents.
Although no fines were assessed, GHSA also put Shiloh High's football program on "Severe Warning Status" for one calendar year.
"This means that if recruitment allegations are found to be accurate in the next school uear and administrators at Shiloh have not taken reasonable safeguards against this activity, more severe penalties will be assessed," Swearngin said in a letter to principal Eric Parker.
At the crux of the matter are allegations against former teacher and coach Brian Montgomery, who quit before GHSA or the Gwinnett County school district could take any action involving him. He resigned on April 19.
Still, the GHSA penalty letter states that three of the students said Montgomery approached them about making a transfer -- "allegations that meet the GHSA definition of recruiting."
Also, the letter states that allegations were made regarding invites to summer practice sessions for non-Shiloh High players. That, too, is against the rules.
In a meeting with Shiloh High officials, Montgomery denied involvement in the transfer process of the aforementioned students. However, documents indicate that no written statement was ever received.
Montgomery's teaching and coaching fate lies with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The chair of the commission could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
In the future, Swearngin admonished Shiloh High to be ever vigilant regarding unethical recruitment of players.
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- Shiloh High Football Coach Resigns
- Shiloh High Footballers College Bound
Let us know what you think in the comment section or poll below. Did Brian Montgomery break the rules, and are these penalties against Shiloh High fair?