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New discoveries in GHSA’s investigation into Valdosta High football program

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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THOMASTON, Ga. (WALB) - The controversies and investigations continue for Valdosta High School’s football program.

An open records request WALB filed through the GHSA reveals the five players ruled ineligible for next season signed affidavits stating they were not recruited or influenced to transfer to Valdosta.

Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cason told the GHSA in their investigation that no physical evidence was discovered to corroborate allegations of illegal recruiting.

Though, several potential recruits were mentioned in the secret audio recording where head coach Rush Propst discussed recruiting players. Such as ways to get “funny money.”

One from California, one from Atlanta, and Tahj Sanders from Colquitt County.

The GHSA states Propst admitted to recruiting five quarterbacks and three from Colquitt County.

In an email to the VHS principal, the GHSA claims the California player to be Jake Garcia and the Atlanta player to be Amari Jones, but their names were never mentioned in the audio recording.

In the investigation, GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines requested a “sworn statement from Rush Propst regarding the recordings and his explanation of his actions.”

As of April 2, that statement had not been sent.

The records request does not show the GHSA receiving a statement at a later date.

In Monday’s GHSA appeal hearing where the players’ parents testified for hours claiming they were not influenced in their decision to transfer, their appeal was unanimously rejected.

The penalties of a $7,500 fine for recruiting and lack of administrative control, suspension from 2021 championship events, and more forfeitures of 2020 games still stand.

The school has since filed an appeal at the next level and a hearing date has not been set.

Propst was not immediately available for comment.

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