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La. HS stripped of title for recruiting Katrina evacuees

8/29/2006

BASTROP, La. -- Bastrop High School will have to forfeit its
football championship under a Louisiana High School Athletic
Association ruling that it illegally recruited players and violated
the residency transfer rule last year, the Morehouse Parish School
Board president said.

Board president Kris McKoin confirmed Monday night that the
LHSAA had ruled against Bastrop High. All of the players involved
were hurricane evacuee transfers from Port Sulphur High, and all
will be ineligible this coming season, McKoin said.

"Our community accepted not only these kids but hundreds of
evacuees from all over the state that came from dire situations.
These kids did not come from homes or schools, but shelters."

The Class 4A state football championship last year was Bastrop
High School's first since 1927.

Coach Brad Bradshaw said earlier Monday that he had been told
the school was receiving bad news from the LHSAA, but his only
focus at this time was on his players and how the decision might
affect them. He added that he expected the school to appeal the
decision.

"My kids are crushed right now," Bradshaw said. "They are
crying. They are hurt that their hard work is being taken away from
them. They know what we did last year. They know what we
accomplished."

Principal Tom Thrower said he wouldn't comment until he got the
written ruling.

LHSAA commissioner Tommy Henry said Monday that he had issued a
preliminary ruling, which he expected to arrive Wednesday at
Morehouse Parish and the school that filed the complaint.

Both Bastrop and the complaining school will have 48 hours to
file an appeal once they receive the ruling. Henry said he wouldn't
comment on the investigation until after an appeal had been made or
the appeal deadline had passed.