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A Ruling on Sylmar Due Today


The City Section will announce today what action it will take regarding Sylmar High's violation of a rule prohibiting contact between football players and coaches on Labor Day.

City Commissioner Hal Harkness on Thursday viewed a videotape of the on-campus meeting between Sylmar players and coaches.

Harkness spoke with Sylmar Principal Linda Ambro on Thursday to discuss the episode and to consider disciplinary action.

"Everyone agrees that there was inappropriate activity," Harkness said. "What we're reflecting upon is the best course of action."

Ambro said Wednesday that she believed a verbal reprimand of Coach Jeff Engilman was sufficient punishment for the violation. Engilman said the team meeting was held to distribute game uniforms.

However, after he viewed the tape, Harkness disagreed with Ambro on the amount of disciplinary action.

"(After Ambro and I talked), I don't think she believed it was enough, either," Harkness said.

Harkness said he is allowed only to mete out punishment to programs, not individuals.

Sylmar, 13-1 in 1992, is the defending City 4-A Division champion and the ninth-ranked team in the state.

The unedited 26-minute tape was shot by Kennedy defensive coordinator Tom Sams after he received a tip that Sylmar was conducting an unauthorized practice. Kennedy plays at Sylmar tonight at 8.

Harkness said the tape includes footage of players lifting weights as well as "adults alleged to be coaches."

The tape reportedly was filmed over a 2 1/2-hour period.

Harkness did not speculate on the extent of possible sanctions against the program, but said he has received feedback from coaches on the matter.

"Coaches want us to take a stand," he said. "They're tired of others breaking rules."

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