TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard announced harsh penalties for some of the athletic staff at Booker T. Washington High School.

The penalties are a recommendation the district is making to the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, after an investigation into possible student eligibility violations at the school.

According to Dr. Ballard, the investigation found that five student athletes were ineligible. 

In one case, a student athlete was being driven 45 miles to school from a neighboring community by an assistant football coach.

In other cases, paperwork was never filled out for students who had transferred into the district.

Here is a partial list of the penalties Dr. Ballard is recommending to the O.S.S.A.A.:

  • Varsity football forfeits two games this season; against Pryor and Hale
  • Three JV football games forfeited from the 2009 season.
  • 9th grade football forfeits 5 games
  • Varsity softball forfeits 13 games from the 2009 season
  • The 2009 All]City Softball Championship will be vacated by Booker T. Washington
  • Head football coach and athletic director Antwain Jimmerson removed from all football activities at both BTW and TPS
  • Assistant athletic director Ioder "Butch" Fisher voluntarily resigned from his athletic department position
  • Assistant football coach Scott Gilkey removed from all football and track activities at both BTW and TPS
  • Softball coach Brian Howell placed on probation
  • Principal Micheal Johnson removed from all involvement in BTW athletics

The coaches will be allowed to attend athletic events, but only as spectators.  They will also forfeit the extra pay they would have received as part of their extra-duty contracts. 

Dr. Ballard said TPS athletic director Dr. Stephanie Spring received information about possible eligibility violations on or about October 11th.  She began an investigation and then turned over her findings to the administration.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Ballard said he believes the eligibility violations were the result of a lack of oversight, not any kind of willful intent.

Dr. Ballard said he's also recommending that prior to the 2010-2011 school year, all coaches of every TPS sport will be required to attend training on the O.S.S.A.A.'s Rule 9 obligations.

Rule 9 regulates inappropriate recruiting incentives for athletes.

It will now be up to the O.S.S.A.A. board to decide whether to accept the district's recommended penalties, or impose its own.

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