PHOENIX - The Arizona Interscholastic Association board unanimously voted the uphold the stripping of Sabino High School's 3A baseball championship and forfeiture of last season, but reduced probation to a warning.
3 months after the team captured the coveted 3-A state title, the AIA stripped the school of the championship. This followed TUSD's summer long investigation that found coaches violated 2 of 4 AIA bylaws -- misuse of booster club funds and coaches having prior contact with athletes -- a recruiting violation. KGUN9 revealed head coach Mark Chandler had a history of violations.
Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo and principal Russ Doty appeared before the Arizona Athletic Association board asking members to revoke the sanctions -- including 1 year probation.
Trujillo described sweeping changes that will affect all coaches, players and booster clubs in TUSD. He explained to the AIA board the district's comprehensive oversight plan now in place that includes an examination of all of TUSD athletic programs, a financial audit of AIA sports programs and extensive professional development.
Trujillo urged the board to not harm students for the actions of adults.
Sabino principal Russell Doty said the school disbanded the baseball booster club and all funds will be handed over the district.
An AIA member asked Trujillo whether any of the coaches he released would be allowed to coach in TUSD again? Trujillo answered -- no.
AIA executive director David Hines applauded the district for its thorough investigation.
The Board didn't budge on two of the sanctions, but did downgrade the 1 year playoff ban to a warning.
In an interview with AIA Executive Director David Hines after the meeting, he said he had a strong concern for a level playing field.
Cavazos: Would you call this case egregious?
Hines: I'm really concerned that we had coaches who had prior contact that put kids in jeopardy of competing and having a successful season.
We are continuing to investigate the misuse of funds and claims of retaliation.