Ex-coach McGugin responds to TSSAA, says he's not to blame for sanctions against MBA

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:31pm

In a letter to players he once coached, former MBA football coach Daniel McGugin has responded to the sanctions imposed by the TSSAA.

Reached by The City Paper, McGugin said that he had no comment and the correspondence to his former players was his responsibility as their former coach.

"In light of the publicity of the last week relating to TSSAA sanctions imposed on MBA for recruiting and financial aid violations,” the letter began, “I feel compelled to reach out to you, the people who mean the most to me from my days at MBA, to try to set the record straight and to express my great admiration for your accomplishments as students and athletes at MBA.

"With the conclusion of the TSSAA investigation and following MBA's press release, I feel it is an appropriate time to communicate to you what I did and did not do in connection with the TSSAA rules violations and to express to you my great appreciation for the effort and dedication you put in making our teams great."

McGugin pointed out that the TSSAA disclosed that in three instances MBA failed to collect tuition balances for student athletes during their senior years and in other instances third parties provided tuition assistance.

On that charge, McGugin stated, "I had no involvement in these instances, specifically tuition forgiveness by the school and the third party assistance that resulted in vacating wins for or championships in football and basketball. These instances relate to the actions of others and are the reasons for the TSSAA sanctions."

As to the allegations made against him, McGugin said, "I think that is important that you hear from me about what I have done that was the subject of the TSSAA's review. Consistent with MBA's well-known history of helping students who find it difficult to meet the school's financial obligations, I was involved in two circumstances related to providing help."

McGugin said that in 2008 some supporters came together to help a family and while he had no involvement in collecting funds he admitted to delivering a check. He added that during the 2010-11 school year two other families of seventh-grade students were unable to pay a portion of their tuition. In the letter, McGugin said, "As has been done in the past, members of the MBA community collected funds to help these two seventh-grade families. I served as the middleman by delivering funds from the third parties directly to the finance office at MBA."

He said that the ineligibility caused by those instances do not overlap with the students involvement in varsity football and "thus their ineligibility did not contribute to any vacated wins or championships."

Winding down the letter to his former players, McGugin said, "I fully take responsibility for being involved in these situations and delivering the funds in both 2008 and 2010. I did so based on my understanding of the TSSAA's financial aid rules, an understanding I gained from the administration of MBA. I know now that my and the schools understanding of the rules was not correct. I am not offering my misunderstanding of the rules as an excuse. However, it is important to me that you know my mistakes were made without willful intent to violate any rules of the TSSAA. In fact, the TSSAA's report states that ‘the investigation disclosed nothing to suggest that MBA's actions grew out of any intent to circumvent the rule or unfairly gain a competitive advantage.’ ”

To read a full copy of McGugin's letter, click here.

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McGuginLetter.pdf103.43 KB

11 Comments on this post:

By: jsnap on 1/17/12 at 1:43

This sounds like a sincere letter from someone explaining his involvement in this matter. Now if the Headmaster, A.D., board members and others, especially the $1500 family will explain what they know, this thing can finally be put to rest.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/17/12 at 4:51

How in the world can a school which loads students down with more homework to justify their academic excellence be so remiss in their own homework?

I can now see why Hume Fogg students are equal or better than the MBA boys. The admiinistration is academically bankrupt when it comes to reading TSSAA rules with comprehension.

By: sharko20 on 1/17/12 at 11:19

Brad Gioia doesn't have a problem with reading comprehension. He teaches senior English AP.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/18/12 at 7:26

sharko20......If you are correct and I know you are then this academic wonderment called MBA knew what the TSSAA rules were unless they chose not to read them?

This is oh so sad!

By: Wild Bill on 1/18/12 at 9:16

MBA administration and MBA families: (with a heavy Mexican accent) Rules? We don't need no stinking rules..... hahaha.

By: sharko20 on 1/18/12 at 1:26

MBA is a well oiled machine. Everything is planned to the mili second. That being said it is not perfect as is any school. It has had it's share of problems on and off the field.

As for the recruiting issues - The pressure to excel in ALL sports is tremendous. Why not separate the private schools, put them in their own league and let them compete for athletes and give out scholarships? Maybe there would be a limit on the number allowed and it would cover all sports and a school could use them any way they chose, i.e. all on one sport or spread them out. A designated GPA would have to be maintained to be eligible and any grade fixing would result in harsh punishment.

This would solve the issue. High schools would treat sports just like college recruiting. The desire for these kids and their parents to receive recognition for their atheltic prowess and earn a college scholarship is very high. In some cases unrealistic, but they still think their child is the next Tom Brady, David Price or pick your favorite athlete.

This would work because speaking only about MBA a student who is not capable of doing the work would be miserable. There are only two tracks at MBA - hard and harder
(regular course work vs AP courses). MBA doesn't offer fluff courses.

I think it is tragic for Daniel McGugin to lose his position over $1500. Changes need to be made especially considering the cost of a private school education and the cost of college.

By: Red Rules on 1/19/12 at 12:42

Why would the NCP print this stuff? Are you really just the propaganda arm for the ex coach?

If he wrote it to his players,,, how did you get a copy?

The spin here is incredible.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/12 at 7:43

RED RULES..... The City Paper was and is only doing what was needed to get MBA out of the "athletes for hire" business. MBA and their headmaster were not doing the true reputation of this wonderful homework school any favor by getting into the rummage of scholarships and recruiting for athletic achievement. MBA itself is recruitment enough.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/12 at 7:43

RED RULES..... The City Paper was and is only doing what was needed to get MBA out of the "athletes for hire" business. MBA and their headmaster were not doing the true reputation of this wonderful homework school any favor by getting into the rummage of scholarships and recruiting for athletic achievement. MBA itself is recruitment enough.

By: drsam on 1/20/12 at 6:33

Leadership starts at the top and in American organizations, top leaders are responsible for actions that take place on their watch. Now that we have finally been able to hear from Coach McGugin, it has become clear that the top Leadership at MBA deflected responsibility for actions that took place on its watch and also lacks the “wisdom and moral integrity” cited as important in the MBA Mission Statement. The MBA Administration made McGugin the sacrificial lamb by firing him, silencing him and then using the media to try to ruin his outstanding reputation and character. The top MBA Leadership should step down.

By: Red Rules on 1/21/12 at 12:17

Rasputin 72,
Respectfully I don't buy it. There is absolutely no reason to put in public print a letter the ex-coach wrote to MBA students. There is only one explanation I can surmise and that is that the NCP has an agenda (at least they don't hide it) and they will do whatever they can to help him regain credibility. It is because of this that I don't believe a word they print. I love MBA and am crushed by the current situation, but at some point we move forward and put this mistake behind us. The media and the ex-coach don't want that to happen, it doesn't fit their agenda.