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Investigation finds former Chiles head football coach in violation of some school board, FHSAA policies

Allegations related to Timberwolves' 2022 game vs. Mosley not sustained
Posted at 1:45 PM, Jun 26, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A report on the removal of Kevin Pettis as the head football coach at Lawton Chiles High School was obtained by WTXL ABC 27 News Monday.

According to the investigation report, which was conducted by the law firm of Sniffen & Spellman, P.A. and completed June 2, it was accused prior to Chiles High School football game against Mosley High School during the 2022 season that players were instructed to improperly block a player from the opposing team in a way that was potentially dangerous.

The report said it was unable to sustain allegations that any player on the Chiles football team was instructed to block a player on the Mosley High School football team in an improper or potentially dangerous manner.

According to the investigation report, an anonymous letter dated March 10, 2023 was submitted to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), the Florida Department of Education and the Leon County Schools District superintendent in relation to the preparation for the Mosley game.

The report addressed allegations of improper living arrangements for two student-athletes living outside of Chiles zone to become part of the eligible pool of students that may attend the school.

The investigation noted that it was able to partially sustain that a lease for a student who was member of the football team was not a bona fide lease as the student did not reside at the property, which violated FHSAA and Leon County Schools District (LCS) policy.

The report was unable to sustain if the second student lived outside of Chiles’ zone.

The report was not able to sustain that Pettis violated school board policy involving one student, but the report was able to sustain allegations that Pettis made comments and/or had interactions with three students that violated school board policy.

In the report, Pettis denied multiple accusations against him and provided a statement to ABC 27 News on Monday:

"We are preparing our response to the report and allegations and deny all wrongdoing. This is a targeted witch hunt and Leon County Schools has refused to look at all evidence regarding this case. No other disciplinary actions in the County have been handled this way and we have been denied due process in this matter."
- Kevin Pettis

An LCS spokesperson told ABC 27 Monday the investigation is now in the hands of the FHSAA.

The Florida High School Athletic Association said in a statement Monday morning:

"At this time, we are currently reviewing the independent investigation completed by LCS and Chiles High School. Upon review we will determine whether any sanctions will be imposed on Chiles and/or Kevin Pettis."
- Florida High School Athletic Association

Chiles is a member of the FHSAA and a school in the Leon County Schools District.

Pettis was placed on administrative leave by the school district in April.

ABC 27 reported June 14 that the Leon County Schools District (LCS) removed Kevin Pettis as head football coach of the Chiles High School football team and would reassign him.

WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. Below is the report.:

D.P. Investigation Report by WTXL ABC27 on Scribd