Monday, December 11

What are the rules that govern high school sports in Florida?

Following charges against eight people involved in a recruiting scandal at Martin County High School, WPTV is looking into the rules that govern high school sports in Florida.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) spells out the rules against using ineligible players in any sport, including football. The sanctions against the school and the coaches can range anywhere from a reprimand, to stiff fines to a permanent suspension for any coaches involved.

The FHSAA puts in writing its reasons for having eligibility rules for high school football and all other sports.

It’s all in an effort to protect the opportunities for qualified students to participate and promote competitive equity among students.

Last year, an FHSAA spokesman emailed WPTV the following:

“We have received an allegation against Martin County High School, and we are currently working with the school to address them. Our inquiries into the allegations and after reviewing their findings, we will conduct our review to either clear or issue penalties if necessary.”

Despite the criminal charges against parents and an assistant coach of the Martin County High football team, the FHSAA has not issued penalties or said where the investigation stands.

WPTV checked the FHSAA handbook and found that if the players in question are ruled ineligible, Martin County High Sould be fined up to $2,500, and the games “shall be forfeited.”

Sanctions against coaches are more generic with rules showing that violations could result in fines of up to $5,000, and in the case of football, a two-game suspension.

According to the rules for a coach to be in trouble, he or she would have to know that the players would be ineligible.

The spokesman for FHSAA was not available for comment Friday.

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