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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)

Stevens Point - Milwaukee Public Schools investigated allegations of recruiting by Milwaukee Languages boys basketball coach John Allen and found enough evidence that it fired him from the job.

The matter was revealed during the WIAA's Board of Control meeting Tuesday. Allen wasn't named in the report, but it noted that a boys basketball coach from Languages was found to have recruited a student-athlete to the school.

Allen later confirmed the situation and professed his innocence. He said he is pursuing legal action.

"My lawyer is going to be dealing with that," he said. "We'll go from there. It's not a done deal."

Allen spent two seasons at Languages, which plays an independent schedule in boys basketball. Before that he spent three years as the varsity coach at Milwaukee Vincent and was a longtime coach with the lower levels of the program at the school.

His situation is rare.

While accusations of recruiting by schools and coaches, formal or otherwise, are common, often nothing is substantiated.

According to statistics kept by the WIAA, it has investigated 78 cases of recruiting by coaches or undue influence by individuals outside programs since January 2000. Eleven times the accusations were confirmed. Eight of those involved public schools.

In Allen's case, deputy director Wade Labecki told the board there were a number of text messages that substantiated the claim.

MPS didn't identify Allen, but media manager Tony Tagliavia noted the allegation and investigation and wrote in an email that "appropriate disciplinary action was taken against the individual involved."

Changes for state volleyball? The WIAA will be seeking opinions from boys and girls volleyball coaches about playing both state tournaments the same weekend at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon. Currently the boys tournament is held at Wisconsin Lutheran College one week after the girls event is held at the Resch Center.

Changes to the floor setup at Wisconsin Lutheran have sparked the discussion. In the past, the WIAA could run two matches at the same time. Next season the WIAA will be able to run only one match at a time with the quarterfinals scheduled to start at12:30 p.m. on the Friday of the event. Usually play begins at 5 p.m. "There is an issue with their bleachers," WIAA assistant director Marcy Thurwachter said. "There was potential damage because we had not been pulling the bleachers completely out to get room for two courts. Their engineer has said no more. You have to bring the bleachers out all the way."

Copyright 2014, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Copyright, 2014, Journal Sentinel, All Rights Reserved.


April 17, 2014




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