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An Explanation of OSSAA Recruiting Rules

Oklahoma Sports explains the recruiting rules that got Booker T. Washington and Jenks into trouble. Oklahoma Sports explains the recruiting rules that got Booker T. Washington and Jenks into trouble.

Originally Published: Oct 28, 2009 10:14 PM CDT

Jeffrey Smith
Special Contributor to Oklahoma Sports

TULSA, OK -- The Booker T. Washington athletics investigation comes four weeks after Jenks issued its own report detailing repeated rule violations.

Of the 23 rules in the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association handbook, Rule 9 finds itself in the spotlight -- four pages that detail, very explicitly, what constitutes a recruiting violation.

"In my opinion, I believe that it was just a lack of proper oversight," said Dr. Keith Ballard, TPS Superintendent.

According to a 49-page report, Booker T. Washington High School repeatedly violated recruiting rules. One football player was driven 90-miles round trip, everyday by an assistant coach. That player and coach were family friends, and even if the coach thought the lift was no big deal, TPS calls it...

"This is a recruiting violation for BTW, and is serious."

Rule 9 in a nutshell -- no school can recruit a student based on athletics. Booker T. is a magnet school, but the rule still applies.

No member school that is selective in admissions may allow preferential treatment on the basis of athletic ability. Financial assistance can't be provided on basis of athleticism. The rule is supposed to stop incentives for playing sports.

It's the same issue Jenks ran into just a few weeks ago. An assistant coach deposited $200 into a player's family PSO account to get the electricity turned back on.

Many viewers of The News On 6 commented that it's not such a bad thing to help a kid out. But still, the OSSAA considers it a financial incentive to play.

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