A Kentucky High School Athletic Association spokesman said the organization would look into allegations from the local NAACP that a black student had been recruited for the Lexington Catholic football team in violation of KHSAA rules.
“The Association will determine if there is enough evidence presented to warrant further investigation into those matters that fall under the jurisdiction and authority of the KHSAA,” communications director Joe Angolia said in an email to the Herald-Leader. “The KHSAA does not comment on ongoing investigations but will release its findings once the investigation has been completed.”
The president of Lexington Catholic, Steve Angelucci, said Thursday that the recruiting allegations were false and that school officials would work with the KHSAA.
NAACP officials have asked for an audit or investigation of Lexington Catholic’s athletic program, specifically requesting that the KHSAA investigate allegations of football recruiting.
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The NAACP has called for various actions after a student’s family reported that he was harassed and threatened in text messages and other communications by at least one football teammate. Investigators said the harassment was racially motivated, and they charged a 17-year-old boy April 7 with harassing communications and third-degree terroristic threatening.
Adrian Wallace, vice president for Lexington’s chapter of the NAACP, said the student who was harassed had been improperly recruited for the football team.
Wallace wrote to KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett in a letter dated Monday that the student “was in fact recruited for the purposes of playing football at Lexington Catholic High School while he was a student at another Fayette County public school.”
“There must be an investigation and an end put to this unhealthy cycle of exploitation,” Wallace’s letter said.
Steve Angelucci issued a statement rebutting the allegations.
“When the initial allegations of inappropriate recruiting of student-athletes were made in early April, we contacted the KHSAA the very next day. We proactively and transparently offered to share all documentation and staff testimonials to fully refute these allegations. We state in the strongest of terms that these allegations are false as we remain fully prepared to work with the KHSAA.”