BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Broken Arrow's football and track teams are on “warning” status for the 2013-2014 school year.
Several coaches and administrators have been suspended or reassigned.
The reason? Both teams played with an ineligible athlete last season.
Superintendent Dr Jarod Mendenhall tells KRMG that the student-athlete in question repeated the 8th grade in another district and participated in athletics while repeating the grade, making him ineligible his senior year.
District officials became aware of the possible violation in June 2013 and immediately notified the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA).
They also began an internal investigation of district athletic records and processes.
“We should always seek to improve our processes throughout the district, but it is unfortunate that these process improvements and staff promotions must be made as the result of a violation,” said Broken Arrow Public School Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. “I appreciate the support of the officials at the OSSAA, and while I am not at all pleased with this situation, I believe we have arrived at a fair and proper solution that does not unfairly penalize students for the mistakes made by adults.”
As part of the self-imposed penalties, the district’s football and track and field programs will be on “warning” status
for the 2013-2014 school year.
The district will forfeit two 2012 season football games and five track meets from the 2012-2013 season.
Other sanctions include:
- Ken Ellett, District’s Executive Director of Athletics, will be suspended by the Superintendent of Schools for the 2013-14 school year from his athletic director duties that involve any oversight of the OSSAA student-athlete eligibility process for the District. For the 2013-14 school year Ellett’s title will be Executive Director of Athletic Operations. The Superintendent of Schools will provide Ellett, orally and in writing, an explanation of the errors described above and a directive that if and when he is reinstated to duties involving the student-athlete eligibility process, he must strictly abide by all OSSAA rules and must insure that he receives appropriate annual training on such rules. Ellett’s reinstatement after the 2013-14 school year to duties involving oversight of the OSSAA student-athlete eligibility process must be approved by the OSSAA board of directors.
- Assistant athletic director Steve Spavital, will be removed as an assistant athletic director and will not be allowed to be involved in oversight of the District’s student-athlete eligibility process. Commencing with the 2013-14 school year, Mr. Spavital’s title will be Coordinator of Football Operations and he will no longer be considered an administrator in the school district.
- District assistant coach Brad Farrow will be suspended from all coaching duties in the District for the 2013-14 school year. Prior to Farrow’s commencing any duties as a coach for the District after the 2013-14 school year, Farrow must be reinstated by the OSSAA board of directors.
Although district officials voluntarily turned the district in and have already began self-imposed sanctions, the OSSAA Board of Directors will meet on Sept. 11, 2013 and could impose additional penalties.