UPDATE: Gatesville ISD Suspends Six Players for PED Use, UIL Reverses Decision Due to Lack of Proof

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Photo courtesy Gatesville.com

GEORGETOWN, Texas — The District 13-4A Executive Committee met Thursday morning to determine the fate of six other unnamed Gatesville football players under investigation for Performace-Enhancing Drug (PED) use, opting for immediate suspension via a 3-2 vote.

The UIL however, during a scheduled emergency meeting at 3:30 p.m. in Georgetown concerning the appeal of the players, reversed the decision less than 24 hours later per KCEN’s Jessica Morrey.

It cited no conclusive proof of PED use as its reasoning.

The suspension was supposed to cover a 30-school day period, per Morrey’s initial KCEN story. No further details of the punishment were released by Gatesville ISD.

When questioned during the meeting, GISD officials on site declined to comment but did not refute the claims surrounding the use of PEDs by Gatesville student-athletes stated by Lampasas Superintendent Chane Rascoe. The ISD also declined to make a statement to TexasHSFootball on Thursday afternoon.

“So, just hear me out. If a kid smokes pot all day, then gets hungry and eats a lot of food and gains a lot of mass, would we deal with that? He’d have a competitive advantage,” GISD Superintendent Eric Penrod said during the meeting.

According to Rascoe, an unnamed parent is under criminal prosecution for administering injections to the players.

Kyle Cooper, the head football coach at Gatesville High School, was on hand to support his athletes behind an unnamed attorney. The players admitted to injecting testosterone during the summer and were suspended 28 days, missing the two-a-day practices and the first scrimmage against Glen Rose per the GISD policy.

During the initial DEC meeting in Lampasas, Tiger Hanner, the attorney representing the students, said that all six players took random drug test and tested negative for PEDs and controlled substances. The committee countered the attorney’s statement, asking why the GISD waited 33 days to test the players after the students admitted to taking injections.

“I am who I say I am, the character of our program speaks for itself,” Cooper said, addressing the committee directly. “GISD put a coach in place that did not meet our core values and we have owned that.”

The coach, an assistant on the junior high level and a teacher’s aide, resigned from his position with GISD in July after allegations of a PED scandal surfaced during the summer. He is also under criminal investigation.

The six athletes’ attorney pressed the issue claiming, “We would not be here if Gatesville was 0-5, but they are undefeated and that’s why we’re here. It’s embarrassing.”

Hanner also told the committee they don’t have the authority to penalize the players and claimed grandstanding. The committee asked why Gatesville students were granted immunity by the authorities and in response, the attorney hammered away and stated Gatesville didn’t violate state laws.

The committee only had two options for disciplinary action — suspension or reprimand.

The first vote was made by Lampasas in favor of suspension for 30 school days. China Spring seconded the motion and in the end, the vote was 3-2 in favor of suspension.

The superintendents that voted in favor of the suspension were from China Spring, Lampasas, and La Vega ISDs. Gatesville and Liberty Hill voted against the suspension, while Burnet didn’t file a vote.

Hanner released this statement after the UIL’s decision:

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