GHSA denies Valdosta Wildcats’ appeal to drop sanctions

Sanctions stem from an investigation into recruitment.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) opened an investigation into VHS head football coach...
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) opened an investigation into VHS head football coach Rush Propst (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)
Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT
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THOMASTON, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia High School Association (GHSA) denied Valdosta City School’s (VCS) appeal to drop charges against its high school football program. The board voted unanimously after hearing several hours of testimony, according to GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines.

The Wildcats were cited on April 8 in connection to an investigation into recruitment and lack of administrative control.

VCS Superintendent Dr. Todd Cason confirmed to WALB News 10 on April 19, representatives of Valdosta City Schools plan to appeal at the next level, which is the State Executive Committee. The following day, the district decided to appeal with the GHSA Board of Trustees instead and formally submitted their request with the board. A date has not been determined for that appeal hearing.

In a letter to the school, GHSA found that “it is clear that Valdosta High School Coach Rush Propst and other Valdosta High School boosters recruited and used undue influence in connection with the transfers of several student athletes to Valdosta High School.”

The reprimand requires VCS to forfeit more 2020 season games, rule five players ineligible, a $7,500 fine, and put the Wildcats on probation for 2021 season play, baring them from post-season championship events.

Cason, the VCS athletics director, and parents of students named in the sanctions were among those who attended the April 19 appeal hearing. A representative for the district confirmed Rush Propst did not appear, as advised by legal counsel.

Click here to view GHSA’s appeal process.

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