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Valdosta High School to appeal GHSA sanctions given to football program

Rush Propst
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 16:27:49-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Valdosta City Schools will appeal sanctions handed down to the Valdosta High School football team Tuesday from the Georgia High School Association. Superintendent Dr. Todd Cason told ABC 27 they submitted an appeal to the GHSA Tuesday, and that appeal will be heard on April 19 at 9:00 in the morning.

They will meet with the GHSA's executive committee to appeal their decision. Cason said from there, they'll see what the GHSA's final decision is.

This all started with the letter GHSA sent to Valdosta City Schools on April 8 outlining an investigation into the football program. That letter claims current coach Rush Propst and other members of the touchdown club have influenced transfers to come to the school with incentives like money and gifts.

Now, the Valdosta football team is on probation for the 2021 season. They're not allowed to participate in any championship during this time, and five players connected to the investigation are now ineligible to play any sport for one year.

The school was also fined $7,500. Cason said they will appeal every sanction against the program to the GHSA.

"Some of it was a surprise, some of it was not a surprise," he told ABC 27 Tuesday night. "I knew the severity of the allegations. I've met with the coaches, the high school principal has met with the coaches. The morale is still high, so we're thankful for that. We're moving forward."

There is also an investigation into Propst by the Georgia Public Standards Commission. Cason said he won't put a timeline on when they will make a decision to retain Propst as head coach, and that they are "going through the process as it is currently."

Propst, who is on administrative leave, told ABC 27 Tuesday that "we are going to let the process continue and hopefully the truth will come out...Just to re-cap how we got here."