Monday, Jun 27, 2016
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Whitmer to find out fines, penalties for violating OHSAA eligibility bylaws

The Ohio High School Athletic Association is expected to announce today that it imposed a significant fine and levied other penalties against Whitmer for violating eligibility bylaws.

OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross and Washington Local Schools superintendent Patrick Hickey have scheduled a joint news conference to be held at 9 a.m. at the WLS administration building, where the two are expected to discuss the resolution of the OHSAA’s investigation at Whitmer. The probe, which began in summer, 2011, was targeted at student-athletes that transferred into the district.

OHSAA spokesperson Tim Stried confirmed to The Blade that "a significant fine is among the penalties."

Stried would not discuss other penalties, though the OHSAA in the past has compared the investigation at Whitmer to the one it conducted at Harvest Prep in Columbus, where punishment included forfeiture of wins, the absorbing of the OHSAA’s legal fees, and a postseason ban in all sports.

Whitmer is not expected to be banned from postseason play.

"[Today’s] press conference is to bring to a close the investigation, and both sides are in agreement and are ready to move forward," Hickey wrote in an email.

At center of the investigation was former football and basketball standout LeRoy Alexander, who transferred from Springfield in spring, 2011, but perhaps inadmissibly. Alexander, a freshman football player at Nebraska, played significant roles on Whitmer’s 2011 football team that advanced to the Division I state semifinals and the 2011-12 Panthers basketball team that played in the state title game.

If the OHSAA determines that Alexander was ineligible, it will likely strip Whitmer of the victories and championships of which Alexander was involved.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.

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