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Fort Worth Southwest coach suspended 1 year

Fort Worth Southwest High School coach Scott Gray was suspended from all UIL activities for one year for violation of Section 1201 (a) (3) of the UIL constitution and contest rules, a result of decisions handed down by the State Executive Committee of the UIL on Friday. His suspension will go through the 2008-09 school year.

The UIL decided to punish Fort Worth Southwest boys basketball coach Scott Gray for verbal abuse of an official after a game at the state tournament last month. Gray, who led the Raiders to the Class 4A state final, said in a post-game press conference that he wished the game could have been officiated by officials who are used to a fast pace “like Houston or Dallas or Fort Worth” and not someone “from Amarillo.”

An Amarillo official was part of the crew for the 4A championship game, won 80-77 by Dallas South Oak Cliff. Southwest’s top player, Kendall Timmons, fouled out with 41 seconds left.

Gray announced shortly before the playoffs began that he was stepping down as coach at Southwest.

He said the UIL is telling him he broke a rule that requires him to accept the decision of officials without protest. “I guess that’s what they got me for, but I don’t know about verbal abuse,” Gray said. “I’ve never read anything that said I couldn’t say anything to the media about what I thought. I guess that’s because we usually don’t have media much, not like in college or the pros.” The hearing is at 9:50 a.m. at the UIL office in Austin and is open to the public.

The UIL also handed down three other decisions.

Student-athletes from Corpus Christi Calallen and Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway high schools were granted eligibility by the State Executive Committee, overturning previous decisions by the District 31-4A Executive Committee ruling the students ineligible for varsity athletics. Coach Cody Vanover of Slidell High School was issued an additional year of probation for violation of state law, adding to a penalty he is currently serving of one-year probation. Coach Vanover's additional penalty extends his probation until January of 2010.

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