A Louisiana girls basketball coach has been suspended for a full calendar year by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) in connection with allegations of recruiting violations, though both the coach and his school are adamant he did nothing wrong.
As reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, Walker (La.) High School girls basketball coach Korey Arnold was suspended from coaching the team for a full calendar year in relation to sanctions that were handed down Friday. The specific sanctions incite seven different alleged recruiting violations, and led to the entire Walker athletic department being put on probation.
The ruling also appears to have a direct impact on the 2018-19 girls basketball season beyond the surprise departure of Arnold. To that end, the school is also immediately appealing the ruling’s impact on two of its current student athletes, who would be barred from competing in the current school year despite transferring last year and sitting out of all organized athletic competitions, as set out in a statement by Walker Principal Jason St. Pierre.
“These students committed no wrongdoing, were in no way influenced to attend Walker and should be eligible to play this year,” St. Pierre’s statement said, as reported by the Advocate. “Therefore, Walker High is appealing the arbitrary ruling stripping these students of their eligibility for a second academic year. Walker also is appealing the decision to suspend coach Arnold for the season. Walker High and coach Arnold have not committed any wrongdoing, and strongly dispute the decision of the LHSAA.”
While Walker obviously hopes to have its coach return to the bench, it has already moved forward with a temporary replacement in the meantime: per the Advocate, assistant coach Hannah Fohne Jones, a former Walker High and Arkansas-Little Rock player, will serve as the team’s head coach until Arnold’s status is more permanently defined.