TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Unified School District is taking a time out to train coaches and student-athletes on the rules of the game.
The mandatory training sessions come after the Arizona Interscholastic Association launched several investigations into team violations in the last year.
“This is not normal, this is a lot and this is why I highlighted the need for training," said Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo.
Just this week, TUSD announced the Tucson High Magnet School’s boy’s soccer team was voluntarily forfeiting nine games that an ineligible student played in. The district said it was made aware of the possible violation after a community member reported it.
The reason that player was deemed ineligible was due to his participation in a national tournament after the AIA high school season started.
Superintendent Trujillo said after receiving the report, the district investigated and self-reported the violation of bylaws to the AIA.
“This is a problem for us right now, as we see, these violations come up more than once," said Herman House, TUSD Director of Interscholastics.
House said there will be two training session for the hundreds of coaches in the district. One of the sessions will be held Saturday and another in the spring. He said coaches must attend one session.
There will be another session held in the spring for student-athletes.
Superintendent Trujillo said the training was submitted to the AIA after the Sabino High School baseball team was forced to forfeit their season and state title, after recruiting violations and financial issues.
“Unfortunately, we have had some additional issues hit since we presented to the AIA in early October and we dealt with the issues with standards and bylaws," said Trujillo.
Those issues led to the loss of more games for the Sabino High School’s Girl’s Basketball team and now THMS soccer.
“Winning is important but it should never come at the expense of learning life lessons, being good teammates, being part of something bigger than themselves, we want them to put both of those together," said House.
Tucson High Magnet is appealing six of the games that ineligible player participated in. The district was hoping to receive a decision from the AIA before Friday, when the state tournament brackets would be issued.
As of Friday, TUSD had not heard a decision from the AIA.