KHSAA sanctions Bell County, Taylor County for Bylaw 23 violations


Staff Report



LEXINGTON – The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has handed down sanctions to Bell County High School and Taylor County High School for violations of Bylaw 23 (Limitation of Seasons) resulting from attendance at a preseason football camp the weekend of August 7.

During the course of its investigation, the KHSAA found that both Bell County and Taylor County committed the following violations: Scrimmaged an opponent for longer than three hours or scrimmaged multiple opponents; Failed to provide the requisite rest following full gear practice; Exceeded the time limits for contact contained in the Bylaw; Exceeded the daily practice time allowable.

Subsequent to that weekend, Bell County, despite a reminder notice from the KHSAA concerning scrimmage limits, played an additional scrimmage the weekend of August 14. This constituted an additional violation due to the fact that Bell County had a contest scheduled the weekend of August 21 (Week 0), and was therefore limited to one scrimmage against an outside opponent (a total of one three-hour period). Taylor County, after receiving the same reminder advice from the Association, cancelled its second scrimmage that was originally set for the weekend of August 14. Both schools had a contest scheduled for the weekend of August 21 (Week 0), and were therefore limited to one scrimmage against an outside opponent (a total of one three-hour period).

Taylor County assistant coaches then videotaped a future opponent without permission on the weekend of August 14, a violation of Bylaw 15 (Practice of Sportsmanship). Though there are claims that this video was destroyed prior to use, it is nonetheless a documented violation.

Following the conclusion of its investigation, the KHSAA accepted a proposal from Bell County of a one-game suspension for head football coach Wayne Mills. In addition, the KHSAA has handed down the following penalties to Bell County:

(1) An institutional fine of $2,500 is assessed to the football program for violations at the football camp the weekend of August 7. This amount was lessened from the maximum allowable fine due to Bell County’s cooperation throughout the investigation.

(2) The football program of Bell County HS was placed on probation through the 2016-17 school year for failure to exercise institutional control within its program.

“We have a great tradition of success within our football program, but it must be done in compliance with KHSAA rules,” said Bell County Principal Richard Gambrel. “When we were contacted, we quickly confirmed these inexcusable mistakes within our program, and worked closely with the Association to determine appropriate remedies, and will work diligently to ensure there are no repeats.”

For its part, Taylor County will receive the following sanctions from the KHSAA:

– An institutional fine of $2,500 is assessed to the football program for violations at the football camp the weekend of August 7. This amount was lessened from the maximum allowable fine due to Taylor County’s cooperation throughout the investigation.

– An additional fine of $300 is assessed to the football program for violations of Bylaw 15 in the videotaping of a future opponent at the football camp the weekend of August 7.

– The football program of Taylor County HS was placed on probation through the 2016-17 school year for failure to exercise institutional control within its program.

“As soon as we were made aware of the potential violation, we quickly investigated and unfortunately confirmed that it had happened,” said Taylor County Athletic Director Jeff Gumm. “We have not only been forthright and cooperative, we have directed all of the coaches within our athletic program to ensure this type of violation is not repeated.”

“These two schools and school systems have been supremely cooperative in our review of what transpired the weekend of August 7,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “It is highly likely that other programs were also participating in that setting, but these two long time members have taken the high road, admitted to the violations and pledged commitment to ensuring that these types of violations are not repeated.”

The KHSAA will have no further comment on this matter. Additional inquiries should be directed to the member school representatives.

Staff Report

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