Six Hart High School football players are facing sanctions for following a youth coach to the high school program, a violation of CIF rules and bylaws.
Five freshman and a sophomore who transferred to Hart will not be able to play at the varsity level next season for violating the CIF rules. The sophomore will have to sit out four games because he is not eligible to play at the junior varsity level. All the players will not be eligible to play on the varsity team for the first four games of next season.
District officials did not release the names of the players or the coach on the Hart High School football team. It was previously reported that only three players violated the prior contact rule and would be ineligible to play on the varsity team next season.
Hart High School administrators informed CIF Southern Section officials of the rule violation and imposed their own sanctions on the players.
CIF Southern Section Director of Communications Thom Simmons said the players violated a prior contact rule and was satisfied with the way Hart administrators handled the violation.
“We appreciate that,” Simmons said. “They went above and beyond. That’s the rule and that rule has to be enforced.”
According to Gail Pinsker, the community liaison officer for the Hart High School District, athletic directors from other schools recognized the students and the youth coach at Hart High School. The athletic directors brought the matter to the attention of Hart principal, Collyn Nielsen, and he proceeded to inform the CIF offices of the violations.
“We were in violation of a CIF rule, and we are working hard to ensure all of our programs are in compliance,” said Nielsen, Ed.D., Hart High principal. “I appreciate being made aware of the violation so we can address it in a timely and appropriate manner.”
Pinsker said the students who violated the prior contact rule received proper transfer approval through the district. The students have residency outside the boundaries of Hart High School.
Superintendent Robert Challinor said he believes the Hart football coaches and staff did not intentionally violate any CIF rules.
”As a result of this coming to our attention, we will be working with each school in the district to ensure that all relevant CIF regulations are being followed,” Challinor said. “This review will encompass all sports, at all levels, for boys and girls.”
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