Louisiana coach suspended for four games for player tampering

Louisiana coach suspended for four games for player tampering


Louisiana coach suspended for four games for player tampering


Jerry Arledge led West Monroe to the Class 5A state championship game last season for the first time as head coach. (Photo: Tom Morris/Special to the News-Star)

West Monroe (La.) principal Shelby Ainsworth confirmed that the LHSAA has suspended head football coach Jerry Arledge for four games and fined the school $5,000 for player tampering.

Isaiah George, was declared ineligible by the LHSAA. In addition to the penalties, West Monroe was also placed on administrative probation for one year.

Ainsworth said West Monroe will appeal the ruling from LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine regarding George’s eligibility, but will not challenge the fine or Arledge’s suspension.

West Monroe self-reported the player tampering violation.

“I believe Mr. Bonine has tried to be fair across the board,” Ainsworth said. “We know there are other schools that have repercussions because of similar things.

“We would love for the appeal to be successful but we’ll see where it goes.”

The LHSAA executive committee meets for the first time this school year on on Wednesday and Thursday.

Arledge declined to comment on his suspension following West Monroe’s 23-6 jamboree win over Neville.

George, a senior defensive back, transferred to Bastrop following the 2016 season before returning to West Monroe this year.

West Monroe has yet to receive a ruling from the LHSAA on the eligibility of Wossman transfer Dalvin Hutchinson, a junior defensive tackle. The LHSAA conducted interviews with school officials last week.

The Rebels could face a postseason ban if it is found to have broken LHSAA rules in the Hutchinson case. Per the LHSAA handbook, a school may be ruled ineligible for the playoffs if it is found to have committed rules violations while on administrative probation.

Wossman challenged Hutchinson’s eligibility on the principal concurrence form the LHSAA requires both schools to complete in all transfer cases.

Ainsworth said West Monroe remains eligible for the Class 5A playoffs.

“I’m surprised we haven’t heard a decision but I can still say we feel very confident about Dalvin’s situation,” Ainsworth said. “We feel terrible for Isaiah but we felt like we did what was best for the student athlete and it didn’t work out right.”


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