OSSAA Reinstates Two Booker T. Athletes, Delays Vote On Head Coach

Tuesday, June 1st 2010, 9:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6 

TULSA, OK -- Recruiting violations didn't just shatter Jenks football dynasty last year, but Tulsa's Booker T. Washington too.

The school lost three coaches, its principal, and five football players were sidelined.

The OSSAA ruled two Booker T. coaches and two players will be back next year. But the Hornets head coach was a no-show.

It was the scandal that stung the heart of the Hornets' hive. Booker T Washington's football season cut short. Their dreams of back to back football championships eclipsed by violations of recruiting and residency rules.

And it just got worse when a district investigation revealed administrators didn't check student grades. Thirty-seven more student athletes across four sports were ruled academically ineligible.

Now the Hornets hope to put the 2009 season and scandal behind them.

Two football players sidelined for breaking the rules asked the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association if they can return to the game. Tulsa Public Schools found that a student identified as player number one was getting a ride to school every day from Assistant Football Coach Scott Gilkey.

"He's my god son, first of all. And I've known him since he was a baby," Gilkey said.

That ride to school from a coach was deemed a monetary incentive and a violation of recruiting rules. Player number one had to sit out for the rest of the season and Gilkey was stripped of his football and track coaching duties.

"It's a pretty tough process," Gilkey said.  "It's making sure you dot your i's and cross your t's, you got to make sure everything gets taken care of."

Quarterback Jordy Albert attended spring practices and summer workouts with the Hornets, when he was still enrolled at a local private school. Albert was benched for the rest of last season and two more games this season.

Both players were reinstated but Albert will still miss the first two games of the 2010 season.

Assistant coach Scott Gilkey and assistant athletic director Butch Fisher attended the meeting, pled their cases and were also reinstated.

"They did they impacted their families, they impacted the kids by their actions but they owned up to everything," said Stephanie Spring, Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association.

Former Hornet Head football coach Antwain Jimerson was noticeably absent. He did not show up for Tuesday's meeting so his case was not considered.

Jimerson would have to appeal to the OSSAA board to coach in Oklahoma in the future.