Football program allegedly broke recruitment rules

Rhys Alvarado

An investigation is currently underway with allegations that the school’s football program violated rules involving the recruitment of its athletes, which Superintendent-President Andreea Serban confirmed Friday.

Serban has not confirmed the details of the allegations and said that it would be premature to comment on the investigation that began on Oct. 31, 2008. She said that the investigation is almost over, but the exact timetable is unknown. Serban also said that the final report will not be made public.

Head football coach Craig Moropoulos declined to comment.

An anonymous source did however, and said that the allegations involve coaches sending and receiving apartment applications for student prospects, filing out financial aid paperwork without parental permission, and housing multiple athletes who paid their coaches their rent in cash.

Athletic Director Mike Warren declined comment on the allegations, but said that “We’ll have to see what the rules are when it’s (the investigation) done.”

Coaches are banned from providing any inducements for student prospects looking to play for a two-year program in accordance with the California Community College Athletic Association’s Commission on Athletics.

The investigation is being conducted by Walter Johnson, who also conducted the investigation that resulted in Ventura Community College coaches being charged with misrepresenting out-of-state athletes as California residents.

The Vaqueros were able to capture the co-championship this past season in the new American Pacific Conference, after winning its last five games.

Unlike other seasons, aggressive recruitment efforts were made in the Los Angeles area, which resulted in an unusual amount of athletes trying out for the team, according to an article by The Independent. City College is allowed to recruit in the Los Angeles area because its pool of candidates is smaller than other schools, which are only permitted to recruit within their own district.

As a result, the program began the summer sessions with 150 athletes. This led to “scores of disappointed athletes – who never got onto the field or even onto the 99-man roster due to the heavy competition – as well as overcrowding and bounced rent checks,” according to The Independent article. The heavy competition forced an estimated 20 percent to more than half of the athletes to return to Los Angeles.

The team scrimmaged against itself early in the season to determine the final cuts.