GJ football team placed on restriction for ‘10 season

A misinterpretation of a bylaw has the Grand Junction High School football team on restriction for the 2010 season.

The Tigers allowed eighth-graders to participate in their offseason conditioning program in March and April, which violates Colorado High School Activities Association bylaw 2100.2.

The CHSAA bylaw states that eighth-graders are not allowed to participate in any team activities until they complete their eighth grade school year.

The Grand Junction football team allowed 23 incoming freshmen to participate in weight lifting and conditioning drills for four to six weeks during March and April.

District 51 Athletic Director Paul Cain discovered the fact in May, and reported it to CHSAA, which immediately put Grand Junction on restriction.

“I self-reported this, and CHSAA put them on restriction as is their process,” Cain said. “This is a first-time offense for Grand Junction.”

The restriction would keep the Tigers from postseason play, but CHSAA Commissioner Paul Angelico is expected to recommend during the Aug. 11th Executive Committee meeting that Grand Junction be taken off of restriction and put on probation for the 2010 football season.

Once Grand Junction is put on probation, it will not be kept from any postseason play, but will be watched closely by CHSAA, and any additional violation while on probation is considered extremely serious and could lead to restriction or suspension.

Grand Junction football coach Robbie Owens said he wasn’t aware that they were breaking any rules because he had been told they were allowed to have the eighth-graders around during the time in question.

Owens said before the violation was committed he asked a former Grand Junction athletic administrator via e-mail if he was allowed to have the eighth graders lifting weights with his current players.

“We have a hard copy that we asked for permission and we were given permission,” Owens said. “Once we found out we weren’t supposed to be doing that, we stopped it, and self-reported.”

Owens said he’s very disappointed that the football program has gotten into this situation.

“We had misinformation, and we are going through all the steps to correct it,” Owens said.

Grand Junction had to put into action resolutions to ensure the restriction will be lifted.

“(New Athletic Director) Ned Pollert has been really involved with the corrective measures to educate the coaching staff,” Cain said. “He’s met with the football staff to discuss new rules and regulations, and the football program will begin to have an eighth-grade Tiger Tour with freshman orientation, so incoming players understand when they can start lifting and conditioning with the high school.”

Cain added he feels the actions Grand Junction took are enough to take them off of restriction.

“CHSAA is very satisfied,” Cain said. “The decision is made at the Executive Committee meeting and (Angelico) has already told us that he’ll be recommending (Grand Junction) is taken off restriction.”


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