ESN Reports: WIAA Fact Finding on Bellevue Football completed

paulb

4/14/16

(Renton, WA) The WIAA released a press statement this afternoon that the fact finding process of alleged violations against the Bellevue High School Football team has been completed. This, however, is not the end of the process it really is just the next step of a comprehensive review. (The full press-release is below.)

The fact finding request from Bellevue High School and the Kingco league asked the WIAA to look into 5 allegations that included Bellevue Coaches directing athletes to attend an alternative school located in a strip mall near Bellevue High School called the Academic Institute. Whether or not Boosters paid athletes tuition to attend the private school. If athletes used false addresses to gain eligibility in the Bellevue School District, whether coaches had coordinated tuition payments for athletes. The WIAA press release only says that facts were found regarding these 4 allegations.

The 5th allegation that athletes received housing allowances did not have enough information to support the claim.

The next step is the report has been forwarded to Bellevue High School and the Kingco League for their review. Under the rules of the WIAA member organization any actions or punishments are the responsibility of the league and Districts. The WIAA executive Board may serve as a final appeal process if a final resolution can not be worked out between the parties.

The WIAA , Bellevue High School and the Kingco League will make no further comment at this time until all parties have time to fully review the report and determine the next steps.

The whole scandal was fueled by the investigative reporting by Seattle Times reporters Josh Liebeskind and Mike Baker. Here is a link to their original story: Click Here

Bellevue Head Coach Butch Goncharoff after losing the Semi-Final Football game last December to Eastside Catholic said that he was considering stepping down but after time away has decided to stay on as Head Coach. Goncharoff likely will not be commenting on today’s press release until the process is completed and a final ruling has been made.

Full Press Release from the WIAA

Fact-Finding Report for Bellevue High School Complete

RENTON, Wash. – The results of an independent fact-finding of alleged violations toward the Bellevue High School football program are complete.  The fact-finding report has been presented to the Bellevue School District for them to review.

The fact-finding examined five specific allegations as requested by the Bellevue School District in August 2015.

The results of the independent fact-finding of the alleged violations include facts regarding four of the five allegations that:

  • Coaches directed athletes to attend the Academic Institute
  • Boosters paid for tuition of athletes at the Academic Institute
  • False addresses for athletes were utilized to gain eligibility
  • Coaches coordinated tuition payments for athletes

The fact-finding concluded that there was not sufficient information to support the fifth allegation that athletes received subsidized housing to gain eligibility.  The report also details additional areas of concern that arose during the course of the fact-finding.

The Bellevue School District is committed to a thorough review and a timely response to all information included in the fact-finding report.  Per WIAA process, Bellevue High School will report on the findings to the KingCo League.

“Our mission is to ensure that all students in the state are competing on a fair and level playing field,” said WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese.  “The Association provides structure and process for schools and districts to ensure there is accountability.”

Due to the ongoing process of review, the WIAA and the Bellevue School District will not provide additional comments or statements at this time.

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