Tifton Gazette

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November 12, 2012

GHSA investigating Turner County complaints into Tift County boys basketball program

TIFTON — The Georgia High School Association is investigating a complaint filed by the Turner County School System into the Tift County High varsity boys basketball program.

Turner County alleges that Dr. Eric Holland, the Tift County varsity boys basketball coach, recruited players from Turner County schools.

One of the players is reportedly a varsity athlete, while the other is a middle school athlete.

Holland would not comment on the investigation Monday, leaving any comments up to Tift County School Superintendent Patrick Atwater.

“Turner filed an initial set of complaints with the Georgia HIgh School Association,” Atwater said. “The GHSA sent down a field investigator to look at the comments.”

Atwater said that investigator came down to Tifton Oct. 15, and added the investigator was given all of the information he asked for, and also conducted interviews.

“We are expecting to hear from the GHSA soon on whether or not they feel there is enough information to file a formal complaint against us,” Atwater said.

Steve Figueroa of the GHSA said in an e-mailed statement to The Gazette, “The investigation is ongoing at this time and we never comment on an ongoing investigation.”

Atwater appeared to be confident in Holland and the Tift County program.

“I have no reason to believe from the information that our staff provided me and the GHSA that any of the Turner County concerns will be validated,” said Atwater.

The superintendent added that he thought he would receive word on the GHSA investigation by the start of the Tift County regular season for basketball which begins Dec. 1 against Westover.

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