Posted: 1:47 pm Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Lakeland High faces massive fines, penalties for FHSAA violations 

By Jeff Greer

Lakeland High could be facing up to $62,500 in fines and other serious penalties for committing major eligibility infractions, the Lakeland Ledger reported this weekend.

Lakeland Principal Tracy Collins did not dispute the findings of an official FHSAA investigation, which found evidence that as many as seven Lakeland student-athletes broke several bylaws, including falsifying addresses, failing to make a full and complete move before enrolling at Lakeland and receiving impermissible benefits — free rent — through the act of a third party to gain athletic eligibility, the report says. Five of those players were on the football team.

FHSAA policy on ineligible athletes requires the program to forfeit any contests in which the athletes in question played and also pay fines of $2,500 per player per game. Lakeland reached the state semifinals in the Class 5A football tournament last fall.