WPTV is continuing to ask questions surrounding “Martingate.” That’s what the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is calling an alleged scheme to recruit players for Martin County High School’s football team illegally.
The school district has since relieved both volunteer coaches charged in the scheme, but no action has been taken against the school’s head or assistant coaches.
One thing parents said they want to know is, why not?
“I would just wanna know why, and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Heather Raulerson, whose children attend South Fork High School. “Theyre the leaders of the team so they have to take responsibility.”
“We don’t know the whole story,” Paula Miller said. “Were the coaches lied to?”
WPTV took those questions to the Martin County School District.
Spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo said since FDLE’s investigation showed none of their employees were proven to have falsified records, anything else is just speculative.
DeShazo also added the district started looking into this themselves when it happened a year ago, and said when they realized some students were not living where they said they were, they shared that information with law enforcement. DeShazo also said the ineligible students were then withdrawn.
“There’s different rules for different states,” Andrew Cohen, a college recruiting consultant with Get Recruited Consulting, said.
Cohen not only helps recruit players but also coached high school football for several years. He related this case to his own experience.
“There’s a lot of rules with college recruiting, and then if someone breaks the rules with that institution, or is continually breaking the rules, most of the time the head coach is held accountable for the actions of their assistants,” Cohen said.
Still, even Cohen admitted that it’s a bit of a gray area.
“I don’t think it’s always fair to say the head coach always has to be in control of someone else’s mistake,” Cohen said.
WPTV asked Paul Boisvert how he felt about the situation. Boisvert’s son got the opportunity to play a starting position for Martin County High School once one of the ineligible players was taken out.
“He excelled. He did really well,” Boisvert said. “I was proud of him.”
“Would your son have had more success if he played earlier in the season?” WPTV reporter Kate Hussey asked.
“No, he would have done his things regardless,” Boisvert said.
Boisvert also added he didn’t feel anyone else should be held accountable and also felt the charges against the eight suspects, were too harsh. and told WPTV he didn’t feel it was that big of a deal.
WPTV asked the Martin County School District for an in-person interview but was told everyone was unavailable that day. Instead, school district officials answered what questions they could via the phone, and reiterated to WPTV that no action would be taken against anyone else unless FDLE decides they’ve committed a crime.