BASTROP, La. - More than 350 people showed up for a hastily arranged meeting on Tuesday and vowed to fight a ruling that will strip this town's high school of its state football title.
On Monday, Morehouse school system officials confirmed that the Louisiana High School Athletic Association will issue a ruling charging that Bastrop illegally recruited student athletes to play football last season and violated the residency transfer rule.
Bastrop High School won the 2005 Class 4A-state football championship.
At the town meeting, state Reps. Charles McDonald, D-Bastrop, and Willie Hunter, D-Monroe, promised to use their legislative influence to help get the ruling overturned.
Under contention is how hurricane evacuees Randall Mackey and Jamal Recasner were transferred from Port Sulphur High School.
Bastrop head coach Brad Bradshaw defended the actions of an assistant coach who traveled to Port Sulphur and transported the two athletes to Bastrop after Hurricane Katrina hit.
Bastrop principal Tom Thrower said the school is being penalized for helping two students during a time of need after Hurricane Katrina struck. He said the LHSAA is more concerned about sticking by the letter of its rules than understanding what is best for athletes.
School systems were given wide ranging authority to accept transfers after two consecutive hurricanes battered and closed schools across southern Louisiana a year ago. But outright recruiting was still a violation, according to Louisiana High School Athletics Association commissioner Tommy Henry.
An LHSAA executive committee is scheduled to hear the school's appeal Sept. 6.
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