MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala.(WHNT) – The Muscle Shoals High School football program has been ruled ineligible for post-season play in 2016.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association handed down the punishment Friday after the Trojans self-reported recruiting violations.
The school was also fined $300 and assistant football coach Chris Balentine has been suspended from coaching at any AHSAA member school for one year, and the student-athlete in question is permanently ineligible at MSHS. The restrictive probation will be in place for the entire 2016 football season.
“We thank the Muscle Shoals administration for their cooperation throughout this process,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Although we regret any time violations occur, we are encouraged to see how our schools strive with diligence to put into place protocol that will prevent these kinds of errors in the future.”
Savarese added that if incidents of this nature were to happen in the future, Muscle Shoals High School could be suspended from the AHSAA.
Meanwhile, the school issued a joint statement from Superintendent Brian Lindsey and Principal Chad Holden. It read in part:
The administrators and coaches at Muscle Shoals High School acknowledge errors were made in this situation involving a parent and student-athlete who wished to learn more about our programs and communicated an intent to transfer from another school. We have taken immediate steps to more clearly define and communicate our expectations for similar inquiries in the future.
School officials say they also plan to appeal for restrictive sanction relief based on their self-reporting.
The Trojans (11-1) advanced to the second round of the 6A State Playoffs in 2015 after an undefeated regular season.