Marion County High School’s football program has been investigated by the TSSAA and has been placed on probation.This is the second time the school has been placed on probation by the TSSAA in the past four years.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press (bit.ly/2cpWOgO), the TSSAA released a statement this afternoon that outlines violations including a recruiting violation again Warriors head coach Joey Mathis and assistant Tim Starkey.
Officials with the TSSAA have accepted the school’s self-imposed punishment — both Mathis and Starkey will serve a one-week suspension. Mathis will serve his suspension starting on Sunday and continuing through next week’s game against Region 3-2a Brainerd. Starkey will serve his September 18th-24th including the game against Boyd Buchanan on September 23rd.
Assistant coach, Randy Kirkpatrick, will serve as interim head coach for the Warriors during Mathis’ suspension.
The football program at MCHS has also been placed on two-years probation, effective from Sept. 7, 2016, through Sept. 7, 2018. Additionally they’ve been fined $1,000 — that’s $500 for each year of the probation.
During the probation, the team may participate in the playoffs, but any other violations involving the football program will result in more severe disciplinary action, TSSAA officials say. The TSSAA also cut in half the number of allowed scrimmages next season for the team and cut in half the number of days they are allowed to practice next spring. They also are not allowed to scrimmage next spring and have been banned from practicing for one week next summer, as well as from competing in 7-on-7 competitions.
According to reports, officials with the TSSAA say they were informed that a student-athlete currently enrolled at Grundy County met with two of the football coaches at the Marion County fieldhouse last Saturday along with the student’s mother to discuss the school’s football program.
The release states that Marion coaches violated Article II, Section 17 of the TSSAA’s bylaws regarding recruiting violations. That section of the bylaws defines recruiting as “the use of influence on a student or the parents or guardians of a student by any person directly or indirectly associated with the school, to secure or retain a student for athletic purposes.
Local TV station, WRCB-TV has obtained a copy of the violations and the letter to the school administration from the TSSAA. You can see that by clicking here.
The student-athlete in question is also ineligible to participate in any athletic events at Marion County for one calendar year.
The TSSAA has asked Marion County High School administration to deal with the situation and report any disciplinary action taken to the state office in writing.