Friday, July 20, 2018
Sports

Tarpon Springs: Ineligible player used East Lake assistant coach's address

Tarpon Springs football coach George Kotis does not dispute the Florida High School Athletic Association's ruling that rival East Lake used an ineligible player and has to forfeit its first three games of the season.

What Kotis has an issue with is the self-report East Lake sent to the state's governing body for sports. He said the player in question used the address of an assistant coach in order to establish residency at East Lake.

"I definitely want the truth printed, especially when it looks like we reported a clerical error," Kotis said. "What we reported (to East Lake) is one of the very worst recruiting/transfer violations (using a coach's address)."

East Lake football forced to forfeit games, loses district lead

East Lake administrators did their own investigation. They said the player filled out the proper paperwork but moved into a relative's house in another school zone later on and the family did not notify East Lake of the change in living arrangements.

East Lake athletic director Kris Toscani said Monday that Tarpon Spring notified the school of the infraction. East Lake self-reported the address falsification after it was discovered.

The FHSAA ruled the student ineligible until Sept. 20, 2018, and fined East Lake $300 ($100 for each game the student participated in while ineligible). A letter of reprimand also was sent to the school.

Kotis said there were multiple violations Tarpon Springs notified its rival about, but East Lake chose to self-report only one.

Toscani and Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett did not return phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.

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