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Franklin’s sanctions revisited

Even after sanctions and multiple warnings, Franklin of Stockton’s football coach went ahead and defied his superiors much to the angst of school officials and the California Interscholastic Federation.

Tom Verner, Franklin’s coach, had been warned by school principal Scott Luhn to not play three American Somoan players who were allegedly recruited from their home country. The players were held out of a game Oct. 19 against Chavez but played last Friday against Tracy, opening a floodgate for more possible sanctions.

All three players have strapped themselves with lawyers as well as Verner, who is denying all wrongdoing.



Franklin had to forfeit its games for the last three years and are banned for the playoffs for the next five years for “more than 50 recruiting violations.” The school was also banned from using the three American Somoan players for the rest of this academic year. Franklin played against Nevada Union Oct. 5 in which the Miners lost on the field 45-21.

NU coach Dave Humphers did not return phone calls seeking comment.




CIF commissioner Peter Saco is holding a special meeting today concerning Friday’s blatant violation of his office’s rulings. According to The Record in Stockton, the sanctions the CIF have laid down are the harshest in Saco’s 14-year tenure as commissioner.

“The Section’s initial reaction to this latest development is one of grave concern because it represents yet another example of Franklin’s utter contempt for authority, rules and fair play,” Saco said in a statement.

Verner has called the allegations a personal vendetta against him by Saco.

Luhn and Stockton Unified School District Supervisor Jack McLaughlin back Verner in this controversy and both are vigorously opposing the sanctions. Another hearing is set for Wednesday in court while the wife of Verner’s assistant coach is trying to take legal guardianship over the three estranged players to help set their residency.

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To contact Sports Writer Zuri Berry, e-mail zurib@theunion.com or call 477-4244.


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