Mount Douglas Secondary School and its football program is being penalized by the BC School Sports organization for overstepping policies in regards to recruiting.
“We received a complaint that there was some potential behaviours or alleged behaviours that were in contravention or not consistent with [our] policy,” stated Jordan Abney, executive director of BC School Sports (BCSS). “We went through our policy with the process looking at what it was, did an investigation and found that there were some behaviours that were constituted as recruiting.”
The complaint was issued by rival school Belmont Secondary, and after a full-fledged investigation, including an appeal by Mount Doug, the BCSS Hearing Panel came to the conclusion that the school was in violation.
The punishment imposed on Mount Doug includes a $1,500 fine, mandatory leadership training courses completed by the school’s athletics director and a five-year probation period. If Mount Doug were to violate recruiting policies within those five years, it may result in a one-year suspension.
“School sport isn’t a reason to transfer schools or to be shopping to go to different areas and certainly not to be enticed by other schools to come to your school for the purpose of sport,” said Abney.
The Rams, regarded as one of the top programs in the province with five AAA BC Boys Varsity titles to their name in the past eight years, issued the following statement:
“We were aware of the allegation and cooperated fully with the BC School Sports investigation. The ruling was that ” . . . actions of school personnel violated the recruiting policy . . .” While we accept the outcome, we do not agree with the findings.”
Having updated the policies surrounding recruitment back in March, the BCSS says this was a good opportunity to educate the people involved on proper practices.
“I think they’re perhaps more aware now of some of the work they have to do kind of from an institutional stand point to make sure whether it be parents or coaches or whoever it maybe are a little bit more informed,” Abney suggested.
Mount Doug was reported to by cooperative through the whole process and all parties involved are hoping they can just move forward without this boiling over.
A full summary of the steps taken by the BCSS, the findings, and the ruling can be found here.