MISSOULA — At a closed hearing on Monday, the Montana High School Association found Missoula Sentinel in violation of the MHSA's recruiting rule of student-athletes, Mark Beckman, the executive director of the MHSA, told 406mtsports.com.
Recruiting is prohibited in MHSA activities and sports.
The hearing was closed to give individuals involved the right to privacy because some were not present. After, Beckman said the board came out in open session and, "Made a motion that Missoula Sentinel did violate the recruiting is prohibited rule."
According to Beckman, the board issued a private reprimand to Sentinel and fined the school $100. Sentinel's administration is now required to send in what they will do in the future to avoid a violation of this same rule. Beckman said there was not an established time-frame on when Sentinel must submit that information.
Beckman said Granite High School in Philipsburg was the school which filed the protest.
Though Beckman could not say who the student was, the athlete is believed to be standout football player Jaxon Lee, who is viewed as one of the Class of 2020's top prospects in the state. After helping lead the Flint Creek co-op of Drummond and Philipsburg to back-to-back 8-Man football titles, Lee told 406mtsports.com back in February that he was transferring to Sentinel. Lee already holds a scholarship offer from Montana State.
Beckman did say the student involved was not found to be guilty of any wrongdoing and will not lose any athletic eligibility over the ruling.
"There was no penalty to any student involved," Beckman said.
When contacted by 406mtsports.com on Monday, Flint Creek football coach Mike Cutler said, "No comment. The MHSA board action speaks for itself."
The punishment for this violation is one of the lighter ones the MHSA can give. Beckman said other possible penalties could have included a $200 fine, a public reprimand and then probation.
"In my 22 years in the office, this is only the second recruiting rule hearing that I can remember," Beckman said.
Attempts to reach multiple Sentinel officials on Monday were unsuccessful.