Hamilton High considers appeal after football team placed on probation following recruiting violation

The AIA decision is appealable within 10 days, otherwise the team won’t make it to the playoffs.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 12:48 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 2:45 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Hamilton High School is responding after its football team was placed on probation after a recruiting violation.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association confirmed the news to Arizona’s Family Monday afternoon, stating that the team was placed on probation after a reported recruiting violation. Sources say Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty sent a direct message to a player at Cesar Chavez High School in Laveen in late June. The player had been named MVP at a high school big man event. Prior to Monday’s announcement, Hamilton had suspended Dougherty for the first three games of the season.

“We are disappointed in today’s outcome; however, we are in the process of determining next steps including a possible appeal. We have also already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future through additional training to ensure all of our athletic coaches understand the district’s expectations related to communicating with student athletes,” said the joint statement from Mike de la Torre, the school’s principal and Brett Palmer, the school’s athletic director. “Our focus now is on trying to make the season a positive experience for all students. As we move forward, please continue to respect the impact this decision has on the team and school.”

The AIA decision is appealable within 10 days, otherwise the team won’t make it to the playoffs. Hamilton was a favorite to make a run for the open division title this season after making it to state semifinals last year.

“Probation is a rare consequence that is not an easy decision for this board to make. But Hamilton has the ability to appeal this decision,” said Jim Dean, interim Superintendent for the Dysart Unified School District and Executive Board President.