DUBLIN, OH (WCMH) – The Dublin Coffman High School Football team has been placed probation through June of 2018 due to recruiting violations.
According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the violation was revealed after an internal investigation. In June, the school self-reported that head coach Mark Crabtree held meetings with an eighth-grade student and the student’s father regarding the Coffman football program.
The OHSAA said that after self-reporting the violations, Coffman was willing to suspect the student-athlete if he attended Coffman, which he did not.
Coach Crabtree is also suspended for the team’s first two playoff games of 2016, if the team qualifies and advances. Crabtree is also restricted to only seven days of contact with the team during the 2017 summer period.
Coffman was also ordered to provide education to all of its coaches regarding OHSAA recruiting bylaws.
Dave Gray, OHSAA interim commissioner, said, “And with Coffman, there is a protocol in place that our coaches are to follow when they are contacted by a student, or a family member, when the student is not enrolled at the coach’s school. Not adhering to those guidelines is a clear violation of the recruiting bylaw, and our staff issued its ruling based on information submitted by Coffman administrators.”
A more severe penalty was originally given to Coffman, but that penalty was reduced on appeal to the OHSAA Board of Directors.
Dublin City Schools offered the following statement:
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has suspended Dublin Coffman Head Football Coach Mark Crabtree for the first two rounds of the playoffs, should Coffman’s team qualify for postseason play.
According to OHSAA, Coach Crabtree’s suspension is the result of violating OHSAA bylaws that apply to districts with multiple high schools.
On Sept. 16, OHSAA officials ruled Coach Crabtree had impermissible contact with the parent of a student athlete at another school and issued a suspension of Coach Crabtree for the entire postseason should Coffman qualify.
Dublin City Schools appealed this suspension on the grounds the penalty was unduly harsh, and District administrators did not want Dublin Coffman student athletes to potentially suffer the loss of their coach at an important time of the season. On Oct. 20, the OHSAA reduced Coach Crabtree’s suspension from the entire postseason to the first two rounds of the postseason, should Coffman quality.
Dublin City Schools administrators followed proper procedures in this matter. They are required to report any potential OHSAA bylaw violations once information is gathered indicating a potential violation may have taken place.
District administration continues to feel the action taken by OHSAA against Coach Crabtree was unduly harsh. Coach Crabtree has been a positive influence on the lives of hundreds of young men and this suspension does not change that fact. He will continue to be the football coach at Dublin Coffman. If Coffman qualifies for the postseason, Assistant Head Coach Curtis Crager will serve as head coach during the first two rounds of competition.