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Coaches being fired. Blatant recruiting violations. Systemic circumvention of the rules.
Sanctions so heavy that the outlaw program was in jeopardy of being shut down completely.
No, sports fans, we are not talking about some renegade college football or basketball program; we?re talking about the wrestling team at Oviedo High School.
An investigation that began in early February with head coach J.D. Robbins being suspended with pay has led to the firing of Robbins and two assistant coaches.?The actions we found from the coaches in wrestling and girls volleyball set a terrible example,? said Roger Dearing, the head of the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA). ?It was win at all costs.?
The Florida High School Athletic Association is slapping Oviedo High School with a $57,000 fine and forcing the volleyball and wrestling teams to forfeit all their wins from this season. This all comes after an investigation revealed the head coaches of both teams illegally recruited players.
?Improper contact with athletes, impermissible benefits? really what that means is helping arrange housing and living arrangements for athletes that don?t live in your district, and they were recruiting,? said Walt Griffin Seminole County Schools. He says that sets a bad example for players, ?It was more of a concern about winning than having an honest program.?
Taxpayers won?t be footing the bill for the fine. The school?s booster club will be forced to pay up with money that would typically be spent on all of the school?s 18 teams. ?I think it?s ridiculous,? said Charlotte Robinson, a senior who played on the volleyball team. She had no idea what was going on behind the scenes until her coach and teammate were under investigation. ?She was a contribution to the team for sure, but to go through this isn?t? worth the trouble,? said Robbins.
The volleyball coach Chad Long is on administrative leave with his teaching position with school. Long has been fired from his coaching position. The wrestling coach, J.D. Robins, and assistant wrestling coach Justin Fraga have been fired along with the athletic director Wes Allen and the assistant athletic director John Howell.
FOX 35 stopped by volleyball coach Chad Long?s home as well as wrestling coach J.D. Robbins home Neither came to the door to answer our questions.
The girl?s volleyball team will be on restrictive probation for the 2011-2012 school year, meaning they cannot play in any scheduled pre-season tournaments. They?ll be on administrative probation for 2 years. The wrestling program is not allowed to compete in championship matches in the 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 school years. They?re on administrative probation for four school years.
The first installment of the fine ($9839.53) is due in 15 days. Half of the remaining fine is due in June with the final installment due in February.