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Ohio prep school gets ‘near death penalty’ for major violations

Jonathan Wall
Prep Rally

When Christmas cards are sent out later this year, don't expect Harvest Prep to be on the Ohio High School Athletic Association's list. The prep school in Ohio is in hot water after a former administrator at the school turned over evidence that the school was not only recruiting players to come to the school, but also changing grades to keep players eligible, and not maintaining proper paperwork for transfers.

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As the Columbus Dispatch reported, the athletic association handed down a one-year ban that will keep the prep school from participating in postseason play for one season. The ban, while harsh, could have been much worse. Based on the severity of the penalties, athletic association officials were on the verge of dropping the hammer on Harvest Prep.

Commissioner Dan Ross said the OHSAA considered giving Harvest Prep the "death penalty," essentially expelling Harvest Prep from the OHSAA. Ross said such action was "a topic'' during the investigation that lasted approximately seven months.

The school will not only go on postseason probation for this season, football and boys and girls basketball will also have to serve a ban during the 2012-13 season. The school will then serve three years probation starting the 2013-14 school year.

Boys basketball will also be required to hand over its 2011 district championship and state runner-up trophies. As you can see from all the numerous punishments, the school has put itself in a difficult position going forward. And with all the violations now out in the open, you can be sure Ohio High School Athletic Association will be keeping tabs on the prep school going forward.

I understand these sort of things are commonplace in collegiate athletics, but to see a high school nearly get the "death penalty" for violations that would make SMU proud ... well, you can clearly see that even athletic departments on the high school level are more than willing to employ a win-at-all-costs mentality, even if it means breaking all the rules in the process.

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