Bessemer City football coaches lose on-field jobs over unauthorized practices

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BESSEMER, Ala., (WIAT) — Update (5/15): The Bessemer City Board of Education voted 5-2 to non-renew Bessemer City High School football coaching staff’s on-field jobs due to unauthorized off-season practices.

Please read the board’s press release in its entirety below:

Original: The future of Bessemer City High School (BCHS) athletics is unknown following allegations that the BCHS football team has been practicing with student-athletes outside the season with more than fifty percent (6 is the maximum in the sport of football). According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Executive Director Steve Savarese, the high school is in jeopardy of having the entire program being placed on restrictive probation.

Here is the AHSAA violation:

·         Rule III, Section 15 Coaching outside the school year

Here are the penalties:

·         Probation for the 2019-2020 school year

·         $300 fine

·         Suspension of 10 days for spring training (self-imposed)

·         Forfeiting scheduled spring game against Oak Mountain High School (self-imposed)

·         Removal of all summer competition dates

A special called School board meeting that was already planned before this discovery will be held at 5:30 pm on May 14, 2019, at the Bessemer City Schools Administrative Office. The office is located at 1621 5th Avenue North in Bessemer, Alabama. The Superintendent and School board members will discuss these violations and among other items. “My recommendation is the non-renewal of all coaches involved in the aforementioned violations for the 2019-2020 school year.” Superintendent Dr. Keith Stewart said. “Proof in the form of videos and pictures have been turned over to the AHSAA,” Stewart added.

Athletes may attend summer camps on their own. The team will be allowed to practice and play games once the football season resumes.

“We are working with AHSAA to resolve the issues,” Stewart said. “It’s important that we do the right thing at all times,” he added.

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