Two former members of La Salle’s football program were hit with sanctions Friday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which accused the Lancers’ former head coach Nate Moore of recruiting former La Salle offensive lineman Thayer Munford to his new program at Massillon Washington.
According to The Independent’s Chris Easterling, who broke the news Friday night, Munford, a 6-foot-6, 322-pound prized recruit with offers from Alabama, Tennessee and Louisville (among others), has been ruled ineligible for the entire 2016 season — ending his high school football career — and Moore will not be allowed to coach in the 2016 postseason should his Tigers qualify, in accordance with OHSAA recruiting by laws. Massillon was also fined $5,000 and placed on three years probation through the 2018-19 academic calendar.
Easterling reported, “Massillon coach Nate Moore and his wife, Becca, had assumed legal custody of Munford — who played previously at Cincinnati La Salle — during the spring.”
Moore coached Munford as a sophomore at La Salle during the 2014 season, one in which the Lancers won their first state title in school history. Moore left for Massillon after that championship run, but Munford stuck around for his junior season and helped the Lancers win back-to-back state championships before transferring this offseason.
“The OHSAA and our member schools take the recruiting bylaws very seriously,” Dave Gray, OHSAA Interim Commissioner, said in a press release on Saturday morning that disclosed the assocation’s findings. “This is an opportunity for Massillon Washington to learn from its mistakes and take a leadership role as one of Ohio’s most historically successful football programs. If further violations occur while the school is on probation, the school’s membership in the OHSAA is in jeopardy.”
According to the OHSAA, recruiting violations began in the fall of 2015.
From the OHSAA: “Among various violations of the OHSAA’s recruiting by laws were many instances of violations to Bylaw 4-9-4, No. 8, which reads ‘If a coach leaves a school to pursue a coaching opportunity at another school, the coach shall refrain from any communication with any students at his or her former school.’ Coach Moore and others with Washington High School regularly communicated with and visited a student-athlete who was attending Coach Moore’s previous school and provided extra benefits such as travel to summer camps.”