Bessemer City school board in trouble with AHSAA, board meeting scheduled for Tuesday

Unanswered questions about Bessemer City football program

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - The Bessemer City football team is already on probation, but could soon face stiffer penalties.

The situation stems from illegal practices in April and could ultimately lead to the entire coaching staff being fired.

On Monday, Dr. Keith Stewart, who said the initial report says the team was conditioning, but video evidence shows the team was practicing.

“My recommendation is the non-renewal of all coaches involved in the aforementioned violations for the 2019-2020 school year,” Superintendent Dr. Keith Stewart said Tuesday. “Proof in the form of videos and pictures have been turned over to the AHSAA,” Stewart added.

Stewart says the school contacted the AHSAA to report the practices and included some self-imposed sanctions, which included forfeiting 10 spring practices and their spring game against Oak Mountain.

The AHSAA rejected the self-imposed sanctions and, according to Stewart, issued the following penalties:

  • No practices moving forward
  • The football team is on probation
  • Bessemer City High School was fined $300
  • The school is not allowed to attend any team camps (Players can attend individual camps)

We’re told the AHSAA wants to issue even stiffer penalties, which has led to a special-called board meeting for Tuesday to respond to the AHSAA. According to Stewart, one of the options on the table is not renewing contracts for the entire coaching staff.

“The situation is a legal issue at this point, and my council has been waiting on a response from our superintendent since last week, so I cannot comment, but I’ll state this, if you’re allowed 10 days to practice and we have not done a spring practice, how can practices be illegal if there’s not any real proof of practices?” stated Bessemer City Head Football Coach Derone Fagan.

The situation is not sitting well with parents. We will continue following this developing story and provide more information when it is available.

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