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LHSAA launches probe into Brother Martin football program, report says

Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 at 11:30 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has launched an investigation into Brother Martin athletics regarding potential recruiting violations by Crusaders football coach Mark Bonis, according to a report by our partners NOLA.com | The Times Picayune.

For more on this report, click here. 

According to the report, a three-page letter sent to the LHSAA on June 18 request from three North Shore schools called for an investigation into Brother Martin.

Those schools were Northshore, Salmen, and Slidell.

The request asked for an investigation "as it relates to the recruitment of student athletes from the North Shore area including the city of Slidell and Brother Martin."

According to the report, the schools alleged an unspecified number of unnamed athletes were being recruited by Bonis, including those he reached out to at an annual Slidell Youth Football Association camp this past June and in 2017.

LHSAA executive president Eddie Bonine on Monday confirmed to NOLA.com that an investigation is ongoing and said there is no timetable for its conclusion.

Brother Martin principal Ryan Gallagher issued the following statement:

"We were informed two weeks ago that an LHSAA member school had submitted a request for an investigation in writing on school letterhead. We have not been notified at any time of any rules infractions being levied against us.

At Brother Martin High School, we have always modeled fair play, and we have gone to great lengths over the years to be proactive in matters of compliance and adherence to rules, having hosted members of the LHSAA compliance office as part of our faculty in-service days as well as having hosted a meeting of the Catholic Schools Principals Association and its coaches with (Bonine).

We have always strived to follow proper protocol in regard to LHSAA rules and regulations. For anyone to suggest otherwise is both reckless and irresponsible."

According to the report, three other violations were being investigated.

Those were:

LHSAA rule 2.2.3, part 4. "The parents, guardians, or other relative of a student-athlete or other student participant in the athletic program at that school are considered school connected."

LHSAA rule 2.3.5, part 3. "It shall be a violation for any individual connected with a school to visit a school and contact a student(s) who attends a school physically located outside of the attendance zone of the school that the individual is connected for any reason without the express permission of the student's school principal."

LHSAA rule 2.2.4, which in part states: "Specifically prohibits contact by school employees, athletic department staff members and representatives of the school's athletic interests" to visit or entertain the student or any of his relatives "in an attempt to pressure, urge or entice the student to attend the school to participate in interscholastic athletics."

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