Probe Costs Louisiana High School Two State Titles

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A Louisiana high school is losing a pair of state football championships due to an investigation into the program.

According to The Advocate, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association ordered Catholic High School in Baton Rouge to forfeit its 2017 and 2020 Division I state titles, as well as runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019.

Catholic High School confirmed the sanctions, which also included two fines, but did not specify the nature of the violations.

“In March of 2021, the LHSAA informed Catholic High School that it was under investigation regarding alleged violations within the school’s football program that potentially occurred in 2017," Catholic athletic director Ben DiPalma said in a statement. "Catholic High School administrators worked diligently with the LHSAA to aid them in their investigation in whatever way possible.

“The investigation concluded in May of 2021. It was determined that Catholic High School’s 2017 and 2020 state titles, and the 2018 and 2019 state runner-up titles would be revoked.

"CHS respects the confidentiality policy between the LHSAA and member schools and will not comment further. As this matter is now closed, CHS looks forward to moving on to the 2021 football season and postseason under new head coach, David Simoneaux.”

The Advocate reported that Catholic High School and all of its players will be eligible for the upcoming season, and that no other sports were involved in the violations. Gabe Fertitta, who coached CHS for four seasons, resigned in February to become a quality control assistant at the University of Louisville.

LHSAA executive director said that the association has changed its policy in recent years, opting not to release information regarding school violations and sanctions.

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