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Mater Dei Put on Probation for One Year

February 19, 1988|TOM HAMILTON

Because of a recruiting violation in football, Mater Dei High School's athletic program has been placed on probation for one year by the Southern Section's Executive Committee, which released its recommendation Thursday morning at its office in Cerritos.

The committee, which deliberated late Wednesday night after a hearing earlier that day in Buena Park, did not order sanctions against Mater Dei's athletic program or the three athletes involved.

Dennis Evans, Corona del Mar principal, contended that Mater Dei coaches and administrators used undue influence in recruiting Corona del Mar sophomore quarterback Danny O'Neil and wide receivers Warren and Weston Johnston.

The committee found Mater Dei in violation of California Interscholastic Federation Rule 510 (undue influence) in the recruiting of the three players before the start of the 1987-88 school term.

O'Neil transferred to Mater Dei in December after he led Corona del Mar's freshman and sophomore football teams to a 17-1 record in two seasons. The Johnstons have remained at Corona del Mar.

According to CIF bylaws, the use of undue influence to secure or retain a student or parents or guardians as residents can result in the ineligibility of the student for a year. The school can also be penalized.

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