Football fight brews at Deer Valley High School

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A football fight is brewing at one Valley high school. Some student athletes at Deer Valley High School would be allowed to take part in playoffs and championships, should they make it that far. But as of right now, it doesn't matter how well the football team does in the regular season; the team would be sidelined.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s board voted Tuesday to partially lift a ban that would prevent all sports teams at Deer Valley from participating in post-season games. Now, only the football team remains on probation.

Many parents are upset. "Not good," says Mike Palomino, whose son is the quarterback for the team. "He came over and said Dad, what does this mean? That's a tough one. I don't know how to answer him on that one."

The AIA initially sanctioned all teams to penalize the school and its administrators for a controversial decision. At issue was whether administration allowed two new football coaches who came to Deer Valley from Centennial High School to play a couple of team members who had also transferred.  Parents argued that the players transferred for hardship reasons, not recruitment.

Representatives for the Deer Valley Unified School District tell 3TV that the AIA partially reversed its decision because disciplinary action has already been taken against certain staff, but they wouldn’t say what.

“We hold very high standards for all of our staff at Deer Valley High School, and the Deer Valley Unified School District, and we hold them accountable for those actions,” said Heidi Vega, the chief public information officer for the district. The superintendent refused to do interviews, despite numerous requests, and deferred to representatives as he rushed out of the press conference.
Some parents are concerned that their kids' chances at scholarships could be reduced because of the decision, especially if they’re not allowed to play in the post-season. “Nobody is on retainer yet, but now we might be at a point where we need to bring them in and see what we need to do,” said Palomino.

If certain criteria are formed and met by the school, the AIA board could vote to lift the probation altogether.