OHSAA slaps Massillon with sanctions

Published 9:26 pm Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tim Stried

Director of Information Services


COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has concluded its investigation into Massillon Washington High School’s football program and determined several sanctions will be assessed for recruiting violations, OHSAA Interim Commissioner Dave Gray has announced.

The investigation involved several student-athletes who were recruited to attend Massillon Washington by its head football coach, Nate Moore, along with other Massillon Washington assistant football coaches and boosters. In addition to public reprimand, the penalties include a $5,000 fine, probation for three years and the suspension of Coach Moore from coaching the team during the 2016 postseason playoffs if the team qualifies.

The OHSAA does not release names of student-athletes, but one of the student-athletes has been declared ineligible for the entire 2016-17 school year due to recruiting, while another student-athlete is ineligible for the first half of the 2016 football season due to not meeting an exception to the transfer bylaw.

“The OHSAA and our member schools take the recruiting bylaws very seriously,” Dave Gray, OHSAA Interim Commissioner, said.

“This is an opportunity for Massillon Washington to learn from its mistakes and take a leadership role as one of Ohio’s most historically successful football programs. If further violations occur while the school is on probation, the school’s membership in the OHSAA is in jeopardy.”

Among various violations of the OHSAA’s recruiting bylaws were many instances of violations to Bylaw 4-9-4, No. 8, which reads:

“If a coach leaves a school to pursue a coaching opportunity at another school, the coach shall refrain from any communication with any students at his or her former school.”

Coach Moore and others with Washington High School regularly communicated with and visited a student-athlete who was attending Coach Moore’s previous school and provided extra benefits such as travel to summer camps.

The violations began in the fall of 2015 when Moore took over as the head coach at Massillon Washington. Representatives of the school and football program met with the OHSAA in May to respond to the allegations of recruiting.