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Coaches Hit With 2-Game Penalty

High school football: Starr and Richards suspended by City Section because of rules infractions.


The City Section Rules Committee imposed two-game suspensions Tuesday on football coaches at Taft, Monroe and Venice high schools for violating district rules.

Coach Troy Starr of Taft was suspended for games Sept. 28 against Kennedy and Oct. 6 against San Fernando for holding an illegal practice on Labor Day.

The committee decided Taft's self-imposed punishment of taking away two practice sessions was not sufficient because the school was on probation for a rule violation last year. The committee extended Taft's probation for another year.

Coach Chris Richards of Monroe was suspended for games Sept. 29 against Paraclete and Oct. 6 against Saugus for allowing linebacker Mark Sutton to practice with the team in August when Sutton was still enrolled at Sylmar.

Richards' punishment was harsh because Monroe was on probation for using an ineligible player last year. The school's probation was extended for a year.

Coach Angelo Gasca of Venice was suspended for two games and the school put on one-year probation. The committee determined he made illegal contact with two players from St. Monica High.

All three coaches can appeal.

Richards said he is not likely to appeal, but Starr is expected to challenge the decision.

Last year, the Rules Committee tried to suspend Starr for one game as punishment for allowing Gerard Jones, a transfer from Reseda, to practice with the team before he had checked out of Reseda. An appeal panel ruled in favor of Starr and overturned the suspension.

Principal Myra Fullerton of Taft said Tuesday her punishment of taking away two practices was appropriate for Starr's mistake in practicing on Sept. 4, a school holiday.

Commissioner Barbara Fiege said schools on probation that commit another rules violation can expect punishment more severe than for a first-time offense.

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