The Graves County boys’ basketball program has been placed on probation after an investigation found that students from other schools were participating in open gym activites conducted by Graves County without permission from their respective schools, the KHSAA announced Monday.
Assistant coach Lyndon Dunning, who was found to have had impermissable contact with family members of a Hickman County student, was suspended for three games effective Monday. The school was fined $1,500.
Any contracts between Graves County and Hickman County — the two are not scheduled to play this season — will be made null and void with no forfeitures applied to either school. Graves County is still eligible to participate in the postseason.
The complete news release from the KHSAA regarding the sanctions and penalties against Graves County is below.
KHSAA NEWS RELEASE
The KHSAA has handed down sanctions to Graves County High School resulting from improper open gym activities involving its boys’ basketball program during the 2014-15 academic year. During the course of its investigation, the KHSAA found Graves County to be in violation of Bylaw 16 “Recruitment/Undue Influence” for conducting open gym activities where student-athletes from other member schools participated without express consent from their respective school’s principal designated representative.
In addition, Graves County boys’ basketball assistant coach Lyndon Dunning was found to be in violation of Bylaw 16 for impermissible contact with the family of a student-athlete at another member school (Hickman County) regarding the open gym activities.
“Graves County Schools will in no way tolerate violations of the KHSAA Bylaws,” said Graves County principal Matthew Madding. “We take a great deal of pride in our compliant membership with the KHSAA and have already begun taking steps to ensure the issues at hand are corrected immediately.”
Upon conclusion of its investigation, the KHSAA handed down the following penalties:
▪ Graves County Assistant coach Dunning will be suspended for the next three (3) official contests beginning on Monday, Jan. 18th.
▪ All contracts for boys’ basketball games scheduled between Hickman County HS and Graves County HS shall be considered null and void, with neither team having forfeiture penalties applied.
▪ The Graves County boys’ basketball program is hereby placed on probation through the 2016-17 academic year. Such probation shall not prohibit Graves County from participating in postseason play. During this time, Graves County will be on conditional membership with the Association and shall be expected to take the necessary steps to remedy the problems which led to these violations. The KHSAA will assign an Assistant Commissioner to work with Graves County to ensure development of policies, procedures and best practices to implement within the athletic program.
▪ A fine in the amount of $1,500 was imposed on Graves County. The amount is an aggregate and consolidated penalty from the specific violations regarding the illegal contact and improper administration of offseason practices.
“The administration of Graves County High School has been forthcoming and cooperative throughout this review and I have every confidence that this situation was isolated and will not be repeated,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett.
The KHSAA will have no further comment on this matter. All media inquiries should be directed to the Principal at Graves County.