The storied Jenks High School football program dodged a bullet Wednesday when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association – following a two and one-half hour session – elected not to place it on probation, which would have kept this year’s No. 1-ranked team from the Class 6A state playoffs.
The OSSAA did, however, extend suspensions indefinitely for head coach Allan Trimble and assistant David Alexander. The board will review their suspensions at its June meeting. Previously school-imposed sanctions for numerous recruiting violations had suspended Trimble for one semester and Alexander for two games.
Trimble, who has won nine state titles, will forfeit his coaching pay of $16,243. He will be reassigned to a different building, but still will receive his teacher’s salary of $83,219.
Probation may have been avoided because the board did not want to punish the current players who were not involved in any penalty situations.
“I’m really happy for the kids – that they didn’t get punished,” Jenks Gazette sports writer Daniel Cameron told MaxPreps. “I’m not really surprised because the OSSAA is not allowed to fire coaches. I think they did (dodge a bullet). I think the whole community is sort of relieved. Maybe we can get back to normal.
“They’re already on warning and I’ll guarantee this is strike two. They’re not the only ones under the radar now. We’ve had a huge controversy with the public vs. private schools. Everybody ought to be sure they are doing things the way they should. I don’t know if they (the OSSAA) are going to have a whole lot more patience with anybody else.”
Cameron believes this Friday’s game at Broken Arrow could make or break the unbeaten Trojans’ season.
“They are as good as any team I’ve seen," Cameron said. "If they get through Broken Arrow this weekend, I don’t know if anybody can beat them.”