The Florida High School Athletic Association is satisfied with Gulf’s self reporting of the football program’s recruitment of two Anclote players and will not penalize the school further. But football players Ty’Shon Peters and Kris Aratchiysky, who transferred from Anclote to Gulf, are ineligible for the season pending appeal.
In the report Gulf identified Peters, a junior, and Aratchiysky, a senior, as having been recruited, which is a violation of FHSAA bylaw 36.1.7.
That bylaw states: “A student who is found to have been athletically recruited or is found to have received an impermissible benefit will be ineligible for interscholastic athletic competition for one or more years at the school to which the student was athletically recruited or at which he/she received the impermissible benefit, and may be declared ineligible for interscholastic athletic competition at all member schools for one or more years.”
The deadline to file for an appeal was Aug. 19, but Gulf principal Steve Knobl hopes there’s still time to fight for the players’ eligibility.
“They have started the paperwork to appeal the initial decision,” he said. “I’m hopeful they will look at it and rule them eligible. There’s a hearing in Bradenton (Thursday). We’re not sure if we’ll get on there as an emergency item. …We’re trying to see if that’s possible because the next one’s not until the first week in October. It’s not to say that wouldn’t be good for these-student athletes because they would get half the season.”
Knobl suspended Peters and Aratchiysky pending the FHSAA’s response to the school’s self report, but allowed both to practice while awaiting a decision from the organization.
On Aug. 23 Gulf accepted the resignation of former coach Jay Fulmer, who admitted improper contact with at least one of the Anclote players.
Knobl kept FHSAA executive director for compliance and eligibility services Denarvise Thornton and Pasco County athletic director Phil Bell in the loop throughout the process, which tends to produce favorable rulings from the FHSAA.
“We’d be doing a disservice to the families if we didn’t exhaust every option for consideration for their football season,” Knobl said. “One of our student-athletes (Aratchiysky) is a senior, and he’s a dad. He is hoping to use football as a potential vehicle for college. He hopes it creates an option for him, but also to provide for his son. That kind of hits you as an adult, as a dad. …Ty’Shon has always lived a few blocks from our school.
“I’m a big believer in giving kids opportunities. Kids and parents need to know the rules, but how much falls on the coach, the school, parents and kids? For us, it’s important to do what we promised the team. We told them we would do everything in our power.”