The TSSAA has cleared Powell High School of any wrong-doing based on allegations of recruiting violations turned in by multiple schools last week.
WVLT’s Mark Packer first released on Twitter the letter sent to Powell High School on Monday evening. Packer’s “Playoff Friday” TV game this week is West at Powell.
TSSAA gives the school 24 hours to address the findings, whether good or bad, before sending the letter to the media and was set to do that Tuesday afternoon.
Nevertheless, Powell principal Chad Smith forwarded the TSSAA letter upon request to 5Star Preps, adding in the email body that “Today we received a letter dismissing Powell High School of all allegations of recruiting. We appreciate the TSSAA’s prompt response regarding the alleged violations, spawned from hearsay incidents. Our team has worked very hard on and off the field and we are proud of them. We wish all area teams still competing the best of luck in this week’s games.”
The TSSAA letter to Smith said …
“This is in response to our inquiry on November 13, 2019, regarding the alleged violation of Article II, Section 17 (Recruiting Rule) of the TSSAA Bylaws of the Powell High School football program. The administration at Powell High School had already thoroughly investigated each allegation received prior to them being submitted to the state office. TSSAA requested and received a letter from the Powell High School administration with a copy of each investigation conducted and findings.
“After reviewing all of the information submitted by the Powell High School administration and schools that filed each complaint, it is our conclusion that these incidents can only be treated as hearsay. The information contained signed letters from student-athletes stating that a coach or coaches approached them after a game encouraging them to consider coming to Powell. We also received signed statements from those accused coaches saying they did not say what was alleged. We have no witnesses to state otherwise. From our standpoint, we only have hearsay incidents (he said-she said) which cannot be substantiated. Based on the information we have currently, we cannot verity there has been a violation of Article II, Section 17 by Powell High School. The case is being closed accordingly.”
Powell athletic director Chad Smith said as much last week, when reached by text message. This was his response late last week concerning the allegations…
“I was contacted by two schools last week who made accusations of inappropriate contact between a Powell High School assistant football coach and players on their team. The alleged incidents of contact occurred immediately following Powell High School football victories. Neither school was able to provide concrete evidence of the allegations, other than verbal statements provided by their own players. Though the incident is pure hearsay, we did thoroughly investigate the allegations internally. We took statements from all identified parties, and based upon those findings, the situation was treated as purely circumstantial. We wish both of the schools who made the allegations the best of luck in this week’s football games.”
Powell (12-0) is one of the area’s top contenders for a 5A state title. The Panthers host West (11-1) on Friday in the 5A quarterfinals.