OHSAA sanctions Massillon Washington High School for football recruiting violations

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MASSILLON, Ohio — Massillon’s Washington High School football program faces sanctions after an investigation found several recruiting violations.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association conducted the investigation.

According to a release, several student-athletes were recruited to attend Massillon Washington by its head football coach, Nate Moore, along with other assistant football coaches and boosters. In addition to a public reprimand, the penalties include a $5,000 fine, probation for three years and the suspension of Moore from coaching the team during the 2016 postseason playoffs if the team qualifies.

The OHSAA says it does not release names of student-athletes, but one of the student-athletes has been declared ineligible for the entire 2016-2017 school year due to recruiting, while another student-athlete is ineligible for the first half of the 2016 football season due to not meeting an exception to the transfer bylaw.

“The OHSAA and our member schools take the recruiting bylaws very seriously,” Dave Gray, OHSAA Interim Commissioner, said in the release. “This is an opportunity for Massillon Washington to learn from its mistakes and take a leadership role as one of Ohio’s most historically successful football programs. If further violations occur while the school is on probation, the school’s membership in the OHSAA is in jeopardy.”

The release states:

Among various violations of the OHSAA’s recruiting bylaws were many instances of violations to Bylaw 4-9-4, No. 8, which reads “If a coach leaves a school to pursue a coaching opportunity at another school, the coach shall refrain from any communication with any students at his or her former school.” Coach Moore and others with Washington High School regularly communicated with and visited a student-athlete who was attending Coach Moore’s previous school and provided extra benefits such as travel to summer camps.

The violations reportedly began in fall of 2015 when Moore took over as head coach. Representatives of the school and football program with the OHSAA in May to respond to the allegations of recruiting.