COLUMBUS -- The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced penalties for Cincinnati Walnut Hills stemming from its investigation into recruiting activities, while also finding that a number of coaches were allowed to coach without obtaining the necessary coaching permit required by the Ohio Department of Education and the OHSAA.
During its investigation, the OHSAA submitted evidence of prohibited recruiting activities to school administrators involving football head coach Brian Lainhart. Shortly thereafter, the school announced that Lainhart will not be renewed, therefore the sanctions are less severe than if the school was retaining the coach.
Sanctions for Walnut Hills include probation through June 2019, a $1,500 fine, public reprimand and an audit of all permits for Walnut Hills coaches. If it is discovered that a Walnut Hills coach does not have the required permit after August 1, the coach will be suspended, the school will be fined and the case submitted to the Ohio Auditor of State.
The Ohio Auditor and the Ohio Department of Education could also pursue their own sanctions against the school regarding the permits.
"Recruiting violations are something about which the OHSAA and our member schools are very concerned, but we are even more concerned that the school has been allowing individuals to coach who haven't been certified," Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said. "We trust that Walnut Hills will now take these issues very seriously, too, and will immediately implement a corrective plan."
In addition to several instances of recruiting, it was discovered that six high school coaches did not have the Pupil Activity Program/Coaching Permit issued by the Ohio Department of Education, which includes CPR training, concussion education and completion of a fundamentals of coaching course. Lainhart and another coach had been listed as a "permanent denial" by the Ohio Department of Education.
The OHSAA does not issue the Pupil Activity Program/Coaching Permit, but requires all coaches, paid and volunteer, to obtain a permit from the Ohio Department of Education.
The fine is based on $250 for each of the six high school coaches at Walnut Hills who coached during the 2016-17 school year without a permit. In addition, four Walnut Hills Junior High coaches also did not have the required permit, although the junior high school is not an OHSAA member.