Has the FHSAA completed its investigation into the transfer of five football players from Jenkins to Lakeland? And has it already compiled a report?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but the folks at Big County Preps say they do.
According to a post on the site’s message board by the actual administrator of the site, BCP, the FHSAA has compiled a 40-page report on the transfers. You can read the thread by clicking here.
Now I don’t know the guys at Big County Preps personally, so I really can’t vouch for their sources. They mostly focus on Hillsborough and Pinellas County schools, which I’m guessing is the reason they treated the Lakeland topic as a forum post rather than an actual story on the main website home page.
But that also gives me pause, because even in those counties it would be big news if the Lakeland investigation was over. So I’m surprised it’s not posted as an actual story if they are so sure that things are wrapped up.
I haven’t been able to verify if a report has been completed yet, and I haven’t seen any news of this on other high school football forums around the state. So, I’m taking this with a grain of salt and encourage everyone else to do the same. If I can get an update on the status of the investigation actually from the FHSAA, I’ll pass that along.
Update (Friday, August 19): Heard from the FHSAA this morning, and according to them the Lakeland situation is “ongoing.” They did not want to put a timetable on when things will be resolved.
Well from conversations I had directly with one player involved, he was told he was clear. I know another one is ineligible for other reasons. So it really is hinging on 3 of the players.
As for BCP, his source he claimed was someone directly involved. Well, unless it was the FHSAA, I think it is not true. There are a lot of people out there who say Lakeland is going to get heavy penalties because they want Lakeland to get heavy penalties.
One funny thing to notice in that forum thread: a Plant fan spoke up yet their head coaches name is the ONLY high school coach to come up in the scandals down at Miami. I would think they might have more important things to worry about.
I too have information that one player has been told he is cleared and one of the remaining transfers was dismissed for “violating team rules”.
A poster on FLAVarsity claimed two months ago that a 70 page report had been submitted and a ruling would be coming down in the next few days declaring three of the five ineligible.
Those same people at BCP are also claiming Lakeland will have to forfeit last season’s wins because of 8 ineligible players. I find it very hard to believe Castle would let himself get put in that position. That entire administration is almost extreme about verifying player’s eligibility before they are aloud to play one snap so it seems unlikely that Lakeland all of a sudden failed to do their due diligence.
One of the people commenting on the BCP message board actually spoke with a player from Jenkins and tried to convince him to transfer to a certain Hillsborough County school prior to his move to Lakeland. That comes directly from the player in question and a parent.
There are way too many people with a burning desire to see Lakeland’s reputation damaged. As usual, that type of mentality typically stems from insecurity and inadequacy. According to all of the message boards over the past few years Lakeland is responsible for basically every major world catastrophe and is recruiting players from preschool to the NFL. My money is on almost no ruling until the season is over. The kids have to live at the new address for the entire school year anyway so why rule until then?
In the mean time, Lakeland is still Lakeland and everyone else just isn’t.
Changing the subject completely, the Florida AP High School Football Poll came out today. I always get a kick out of finding out just how little most of these writers actually know about the high school football in this state. In 8A #1 beat #2 by 40 four days ago. How bad is #3? How about Lincoln in 7A? They beat Armwood in the state title game last year and return either 17 or 18 starters and start the year #6 behind Lakeland and Countryside? Countryside just got dominated by an unranked Lakewood team! I don’t know how closely you still follow HS football but I would love to read your thoughts and see your rankings if you have time and feel like it.