O’Neil: If true, this a sad case of high school recruitment
Seattle’s Garfield High School is being investigated for allegations of recruitment violations within its football program.
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Will Sanders, 19, told The Seattle Times he was flown in from Texas and was promised athletic opportunities but was sent back home after the football season was over and later removed from the school’s database.
Sanders, according to the Times, lived with a coach and parents during his time in Seattle.
710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neill explains the problem.
“You can’t have a kid come from another state, certainly,” he told Seattle’s Morning News. “But even another county. He can’t come and live with coaches. If there is no violation here, it’s only on a technicality and that should sort of disgust us all further because this is about as sad a case of high school recruitment as I can remember because the kid was sent back to Texas.”
According to rules governed by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, athletic programs cannot “induce or encourage any prospective student to attend or continue to attend any member school for the purpose of participating in athletics, even when special remuneration or inducement is not given, it is a violation.”
The Seattle School district says it has hired an outside investigator to look into possible violations.
This isn’t the first time a football program has been investigated for breaking recruitment rules.
Sanctions were imposed on the Bellevue Wolverines football program in 2016 that barred the team from participating in post-season games for four years. Sanctions also affected the relationship between the football club and the team.
An investigation into the club and the football program resulted in several allegations. Investigators claimed that the team encouraged out-of-district players to enroll at a local, private institute which was subsidized by the booster club. It also claimed that some players provided false addresses that placed them inside the school district, and in turn providing them access to play on the football team.
The investigation further found that Head Coach Butch Goncharoff received excessive payments for out-of-season work with the team. This work benefited from his position at the high school. Goncharoff has since called the investigation and the fallout a “set up.”