State Penalizes High School For Recruiting Violations

CINCINNATI (AP) - The organization that governs Ohio high school athletics fined Moeller High School on Monday and placed it on probation for breaking rules in attempting to recruit football players.

Moeller was fined $1,000, placed on probation for the rest of this school year through the 2003-04 school year and will be reprimanded, said Clair Muscaro, commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Any further violations could be punished by additional penalties, Muscaro said. He concluded that Moeller broke the rules by trying to recruit a prospective student-athlete for athletic purposes.

Schools are allowed to market themselves to general populations of students, but not in a manner that is specific to any particular sport, Muscaro said. Moeller was cited for producing and distributing a brochure and a flyer specific to football, he said.

Moeller principal Dan Ledford and football coach Bob Crable did not return calls requesting comment Monday.

Moeller officials have cooperated with the OHSAA and taken steps to correct the problems, Muscaro said.

The investigation started after public schools in suburban Cincinnati accused Moeller -- a Roman Catholic school -- of violating recruiting rules in attempting to attract the public schools' students to Moeller. Rival school officials said Moeller sent a postage-paid pamphlet soliciting personal information and that Crable visited a church to meet with seventh- and eighth-grade students.

They also said Moeller officials recruited at a peewee football practice.

Long regarded as an Ohio high school football power, Moeller struggled to a 5-5 record last season.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)