Notre Dame Prep placed on probation, banned from 2016 postseason

Notre Dame Prep is located 9701 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale (file photo)

Notre Dame Prep is located 9701 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale (file photo)

The Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board placed the Notre Dame Preparatory football program on probation as a result of AIA bylaws violations.

The AIA announced the penalties during its Oct. 17 executive board meeting.

Dr. Harold Slemmer, AIA executive director, confirmed in an Oct. 17 phone interview that NDP will face a probation starting immediately that will ban the school from this year’s postseason as well as qualifying for any awards this season.

Additionally, Dr. Slemmer said the AIA is looking into a third allegation surrounding a recruiting violation.

“That was an allegation the board wanted to research and get more information on,” Dr. Slemmer said.

The AIA executive board reached the conclusion to impose these penalties after the school violated two association bylaws involving recruiting and hosting a summer football class.

Dr. Slemmer said both these violations drew the penalty of probation, however, the penalties will run concurrently, which means Notre Dame Prep will be eligible for the 2017 postseason.

According to Dr. Slemmer, the board reached this decision unanimously.

“They obviously felt that this was a serious enough violation that they should draw that type of sanction,” Dr. Slemmer explained.

Along with these penalties, Dr. Slemmer said he expects Notre Dame Prep to also follow through with its self-imposed ban of spring football the school implemented in its report to the AIA regarding the violations.

Dr. Slemmer said the board was encouraged by the school’s decision to impose its own penalty but that self-implemented sanction was not enough to change the minds’ of those on the board.

Notre Dame Prep President Jason Gmelich did not respond to an e-mail or phone call requesting comment as of Monday, Oct. 17 afternoon.

The executive board made the decision prior that the football class was in violation of AIA bylaws during its Sept.13 meeting. During that same time, the recruiting allegation came forward.

This allegation surrounded the fact that letters were allegedly sent out to athletes attending other schools, inviting them to a football camp.

During the entire process of investigating the allegation, Dr. Slemmer said Notre Dame Prep was open with the AIA, submitting a report to address the allegations.

In the report, NDP claimed it “inadvertently broke a recruiting bylaw,” he said.

Notre Dame Prep currently sits atop the Northeast Valley Region standings with a 3–0 region record (6–2 overall). NDP will face Arcadia High School Friday, Oct. 21.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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