BA's Coach Ron Lancaster Responds To Jenks Investigation
By Kyle Dierking, OKBlitz.com
BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Friday night's game between Jenks and Broken Arrow is one of the biggest high school football games of the season.
The recent findings of an investigation on the Jenks athletic department may have shined the spotlight even brighter.
"No one wants to see something like this happen because it just puts a black eye on everybody," said Ron Lancaster, Broken Arrow's head coach. "Now we're all getting questions. You're looking around on your own group and you're saying, ‘gee do we have one out here like that?' I don't think so, but how do I know?"
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board will review the Jenks investigation on Wednesday and decide if the school faces any further penalties.
The Trojans will again be without head coach Allan Trimble, who is taking a self-imposed suspension for the remainder of the semester. Last week, an independent investigation revealed that Trimble and the Jenks athletic department violated OSSAA rules. Offensive coordinator Loren Montgomery will serve as interim head coach.
Read the findings of the Jenks' athletic department investigation
"(Trimble) would have no more of an effect on the game than I would," said Lancaster, who preceded Trimble as head coach at Jenks. "Once you play on Friday nights the kids are going to line up and play. He's got guys that have coached and they have set the game plan, not him - same way here. I help them, he helps his guys. Ultimately, it may be a factor of more of a rallying cry for the people at Jenks than anything."
The investigation centered on former Jenks football player Jarrett Lake and six other unnamed players, one of which is still with the Trojans. The report says that Jenks violated OSSAA rule 9, which regulates inappropriate recruiting incentives for athletes.
There were also problems with Lake's eligibility and residency forms, which led to Jenks forfeiting nine games from the 2008 season as well as its state runner-up trophy.
10/4/2009 Related Story: OSSAA Board President Speaks Out On Jenks Investigation
"We have to talk to our kids all the time, ‘be honest with us and we'll be honest with you,'" Lancaster said. "A lot of times we get people out there who say, ‘I'm doing the right things, I'm living in the right home, I've got the address.' In fact they don't and a lot of times we don't know that. We can only accept what people tell us at times."
Lancaster has coached several big high school programs throughout the state, including Enid, Jenks, Muskogee and now Broken Arrow - the largest school in the state of Oklahoma.
Whether it is with move-ins or recruiting, Lancaster thinks the OSSAA needs to be more explicit with its rules.
"The state is going to have to come to the realization that there is a cut and dry here," Lancaster said. "You either live here and have credentials to live here, no dual residencies and all that. If you don't live here then you don't go to school here and don't participate in athletics. If you don't have those things in place then you don't get to do it. If you do, then you face a severe penalty."
When asked how good it would feel to beat Jenks on Friday night in his last season of coaching, Lancaster quipped, "Twice in one year? They've already forfeited once, so I would say it would be really, really sweet."
For the latest, visit OKBlitz.com.