Wiregrass Ranch to appeal recent fine



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Wed. July 6, 2011 | Times Staff

On June 23, the Florida High School Athletic Association fined Wiregrass Ranch $12,525 and placed the girls basketball program on two years' administrative probation following an investigation into the recruiting of Briahanna Jackson. On Wednesday, FHSAA spokesperson Seth Polansky said the school is appealing the amount of the fine, but not the sanctions. 

Polansky said executive director Roger Dearing and associate executive director Denarvise Thornton will decide next week whether to grant Wiregrass Ranch's request. 

In a letter to Dearing, Wiregrass Ranch principal Ray Bonti said the school plans to put in place corrective actions to prevent further violations, including clearer rules on the use of school facilities by outside organizations (coordinated by the assistant principal), as well as a mandatory compliance meeting with county athletic director Phil Bell for all Wiregrass Ranch coaches. Athletic director David Wilson also will now be present at all team meetings with parents to help clarify FHSAA rules about AAU involvement and the like.

The FHSAA said Wiregrass violated 10 separate by-laws, receiving fines for five of them. Among the violations: providing false information when seeking an eligibility ruling concerning Jackson and allowing former Wesley Chapel girls basketball coach and current AAU Suncoast Basketball Club director Warren Jones to practice in its facilities without a legal and binding facilities usage agreement. (Jackson played for Jones' AAU team).


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