A Tennessee high school finds itself in the unwanted crosshairs of a state comptroller after an investigation revealed that the school’s booster club had overcharged each of its student-athletes some $400 per person for their participation as a member of the varsity baseball program.
As reported by the Daily Memphian, the Collierville (Tenn.) Schools baseball booster club charged students a total of $2,100 when only a total of $1,700 — $100 across the board as participation fee and an additional approved $1,600 baseball fee — was ever approved by the school board.
The booster club is designed to help defray the cost of coaches and uniforms for teams, but in this case is alleged to have deposited the surplus fees into the booster club’s account rather than the schools, with those totals potentially swelled by incomplete accounting of the program’s concession stand revenues.
While there is allegedly a board structure of the booster club aimed at preventing a similar mishap occurring, that doesn’t mean that the Collierville booster club will escape penalties for what has already transpired.
The results of the comptroller’s investigation were first released publicly March 12, but there has yet to be any further information about the timing of any prospective resolution of the issue.
Lausanne running back Eric Gray has decommitted from Michigan. The four-star RB made the announcement on Twitter Saturday morning.
“The University of Michigan gave me an incredible opportunity to be a part of an excellent program,” wrote Gray in the tweet. “However at this time I feel it’s best for me and my family to re-open my recruitment and de-commit from the university.”
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior is the No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 8 overall prospect in Tennessee according to the 247Sports composite.
Gray said on Sunday that he plans to visit two of the following three schools before signing day: Ole Miss, Alabama, and Texas A&M.
Please respect my decision. Thank you pic.twitter.com/0paTQfaY4k
— E.Juice (@1ericgray) December 1, 2018
“More than likely it will be Ole Miss and Alabama, and if not Alabama it will be Ole Miss and Texas A&M,” Gray said Sunday at the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football awards in Nashville.
He was scheduled to visit Texas A&M on Nov. 24, but canceled because of a scheduling conflict with Mr. Football.
Gray has taken official visits to Michigan, Penn State, and Tennessee.
In addition to his official visit, Gray has made two unofficial visits to Tennessee. One on Oct. 20 when the Vols hosted Alabama, and the other on Nov. 17 when the Vols played Missouri. Gray was initially supposed to visit Michigan during the weekend of Nov. 17, but canceled the trip to go see the Vols.
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“I think he’s doing well. He’s got the right coaches,” said Gray of Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt on Nov. 17. “He just has to get his players in there.”
Gray committed to Michigan on July 1. As the season went on, his commitment began to waver over growing concerns about going to school so far away from Memphis.
“It’s the travel and my mom getting there,” Gray told USA Today Network on Nov. 17. “It’s not the only school I can do what I need to do.”
Read the rest of the story at the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
A Tennessee cheerleading coach was indicted on charges that he stole more than $2,500 from his own student athletes, then brazenly siphoned the cash into his own accounts rather than pay for team uniforms and other expenses.
As reported by Memphis CBS affiliate WREG, now former Fayette-Ware (Tenn.) High School cheerleading coach Jimmy Wilson has been charged with one count of theft over $2,500, official misconduct and tampering with government records for allegedly collecting funds from Fayette-Ware student athletes then failing to use them for their appointed purpose.
Wilson, a rare male coach of the predominantly female cheerleading team, allegedly collected $2,546 from Fayette-Ware cheerleaders, then took the funds and deposited them in a personal account rather than hand them over to the school, as he was directed to do.
The money was apparently allocated at least in part for new cheerleading uniforms, which Wilson admitted were never ordered despite the Fayette-Ware parents providing the funds for their purchase.
In this case, while Wilson clearly bears the predominant responsibility for the misappropriated funds, the state of Tennessee also found fault with the Fayette- Ware School District for not enforcing the accounting procedures they have in place to prevent such an event from happening.
Wilson could face a fine of up to $2,000 in addition to the funds he took, or up to three years in jail if convicted.
It’s one thing for a team to approach a game brimming with self confidence. That’s good. It’s another thing for a team to approach a game brimming with self confidence when it can’t back up its braggadocio.
That’s what happened in the Tennessee Class 6A BlueCross Bowl at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium, where Whitehaven High School (Memphis) entered through a very aggressive run-thru banner … then found itself on the wrong end of a shellacking.
That banner you see above is a reference to The Purge, the horror series where the American government legalizes all crimes for 48 hours as a means of Darwinian population control. The message was simple: For the next 48 minutes, Whitehaven was going to dominate and take no prisoners. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Here comes Whitehaven! 6A state championship about to kick off pic.twitter.com/tbfUcT2UWA
— Khari Thompson (@_KhariThompson) November 30, 2018
Instead, it was Oakland (Tenn.) High School team that thoroughly dominated the affair, with the Patriots thoroughly dominating the Tigers, who never really knew what hit them.
In fact, the one moment when Whitehaven truly seemed on song was when they entered through the aforementioned Purge-themed run-thru banner. After that? It was all Oakland en route to a 37-0 win.
The win marked the third state title in Oakland school history and avenged a 2016 BlueCross Bowl loss to Whitehaven. Still, it may be most notable for Whitehaven’s pregame style points and in-game collapse. Apparently all crimes were legal, including football crimes against Whitehaven.
Eric Gray is headed back to Knoxville.
And that could spell disaster for Michigan as it tries to keep the Lausanne standout running back for its 2019 class.
Gray, a four-star prospect, will take an unofficial visit to Tennessee on Saturday to attend the Volunteers’ game with Missouri. It will be his third trip to see the Vols this season, according to 247Sports. Gray took an official trip on Sept. 22 when the Vols played Florida and an unofficial on Oct. 20 when the Vols hosted Alabama.
Gray had originally planned on visiting Michigan on Saturday. However, Gray told the USA Today Network – Tennessee that his commitment to Michigan is wavering.
“It’s kind of hanging in the balance right now,” said Gray of his commitment to Michigan. “I just want to keep my options open. Michigan is kind of far away.
“I’m trying to keep my options open, and seeing where things go.”
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Gray is a prolific running back and has been named a Tenneessee Titans Mr. Football the past two seasons, winning it in DII-A in 2016 and DII-AA in 2017. He’s a finalist again this year.
Gray said he has kept track of Tennessee and what coach Jeremy Pruitt has done in his first season.
“Everyone said when they couldn’t move the ball on Charlotte, why would I think about going there,” Gray said. “Then they went and beat Kentucky, the No. 12 team in the country.
“I think he’s doing well. He’s got the right coaches. He just has to get his players in there.”
Gray said travel is the biggest drawback to Michigan.
“It’s the travel and my mom getting there,” Gray said. “It’s not the only school I can do what I need to do.”
Read the full article at the Nashville Tennessean.
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