Arizona baseball state champ Sabino under investigation for recruiting

The Sabino baseball team captured the Arizona Class 3A state title but is now under investigation (Photo: Rick Wiley/Arizona Daily Star via AZCentral) Photo: Rick Wiley/Arizona Daily Star via Arizona Republic

Arizona baseball state champ Sabino under investigation for recruiting


Arizona baseball state champ Sabino under investigation for recruiting


The state title that Mark Chandler and Sabino finally earned in May prove far less than eternal after all.

As reported by Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN and Arizona Public Media, among other local outlets, Chandler and the Tucson Sabino program are under investigation for illegal recruiting practices. The Arizona Interscholastic Association investigation is allegedly focused on two players who competed for the team as it captured the Class 3A state title for the first time in 21 years.

Here’s more from Arizona Public Media:

The possible violations include using an ineligible player, inappropriate use of funding and illegal recruitment practices during the 2018 season, according to Gabriel Trujillo, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District.

“The investigation itself is multifaceted,” Trujillo said.

If those violations are found to be true, it would be shocking for Chandler to be able to hold on to his post. That hope may be even more dim based on additional findings uncovered by KGUN dating to when Chandler led the 2015 baseball team at Sahuaro, another high school in the Tucson school district:

This isn’t the first time he’s faced scrutiny for violating rules or as the district described – “unprofessional conduct” including “insubordination”.

The list of violations:

  • Commingling of Student Activity and Booster Club Funds
  • Misappropriation of Meal Expenses Prepaid from Student Activity Fund
  • Violation of AIA Rules

A district letter reveals Chandler put student-raised funds into a booster club account — that’s against district policies.

All of these factors would seem to paint a pretty dim picture for Chandler, who could very well find himself on the sidelines just months removed from the moment when he and Sabino finally reached the mountaintop.


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