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Youth Football Program in Ukiah Put on Probation

November 15, 1998|From Associated Press

UKIAH, Calif. — A Pop Warner football program was placed on two years probation for holding tryouts and cutting weaker players in violation of league rules.

Pop Warner teams are required to accept all players on a first-come basis. League officials said the Ukiah Mighty Mites division--which is made up of players 7 to 9 years old--had an unfair advantage.

In addition to the probation, the league suspended program administrator Dave Hall for two years, forced program director Brad Shear to retire and suspended five coaches for a year.

"If you go to Ukiah or one of their football games and talk to people, there is only one group of people who will say they don't have tryouts and cuts, and that's the coaching staff," said Greg Koop, the league's athletic director. "Everybody knows you have to make the team."

Parents and coaches called the infractions minor and the penalties unfair.

"I don't think the punishment fits the crime," Hall said.

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