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Sabino HS Recruiting Violation Probe: Some parents and student athletes not cooperating

Posted: 5:53 PM, Jul 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-25 01:54:23Z

An update on the probe into possible recruiting violations by the Sabino High School baseball team, which was crowned 2018 3-A state champions.

TUSD is conducting the investigation and had hoped to wrap it up by now, but the superintendent tells us some parents and student-athletes are not cooperating.

Sabino HS baseball team's come from behind win to clinch the state title is in question.

Head coach Mark Chandler is now under investigation for possibly stacking the deck, insiders say, to win games and the championship.

A complaint made to the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) cites Chandler accomplished the win "through illegally recruiting players from other Tucson high schools in the area" having "witnessed this behavior first hand."

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo said in a media briefing in late June. "We do know we are in the portion of the investigation where players will be interviewed and parents."

But Trujillo tells KGUN9 vacation and summer schedules have impeded the probe. Some families have been out of town, but Trujillo says "in the spirit of transparency, there have been parents and student-athletes who have openly stated to our team their unwillingness to participate or provide information contributing to this investigation."

Board president Michael Hicks believes the district cannot force parents to comply. "It's a little difficult to force parents and students to come forward on some investigation like this. We really don't have the power to subpoena." Meaning, the district doesn't have any legal authority.

Trujillo says the earliest date the investigation would be completed is August 13th.

Trujillo says he will do everything possible to wrap up the investigation as soon as possible and to communicate the findings to the Governing Board, the AIA, and the public. 

Full statement from Trujillo:

"This investigation is not finished and will not be finished any time in the immediate future. If families and players have not been contacted, it is because the investigation is ongoing. Our lead investigative team has noted that August 13th might be the soonest possible date in which the investigation may be concluded.

Vacation schedules and employees not being on contract right now are a challenge to completing interviews necessary to conclude this investigation, this is factual information that I communicated to the press as well last week Many of our students and their families are out of town and unable to come in for interviews.

In the spirit of transparency, there have been parents and student-athletes who have openly stated to our team their unwillingness to participate or provide information contributing to this investigation. I mentioned no names of individual students, any academic information, any disciplinary information, or any other information that could or would lead to a violation of a parent or student's rights via FERPA. I also mentioned numerous times that all charges remain unsubstantiated allegations at this time pending the completion of this investigation.

We will do everything possible to wrap up this investigation as soon as possible and to communicate our findings to our Governing Board, the AIA, and the community at large."