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Brandon coach faces FHSAA investigation

The governing body sends a letter of inquiry to the Eagles concerning recruiting violations against boys basketball coach Mark Hermann.

By EMILY NIPPS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 17, 2003

According to Brandon athletic director Mike Burnett, the Florida High School Activities Association is investigating coach Mark Hermann for possible recruiting violations.

Burnett said the school received the FHSAA's letter of inquiry Thursday. The letter requested answers to "some serious questions," and the school is expected to respond within 10 days.

Burnett declined to say which player or players were involved or disclose details about the alleged recruiting incident. He also refused to indicate who filed the accusations with the FHSAA.

"I really believe that once the facts come out, nothing will indicate any wrongdoing by the school or Coach Hermann," Burnett said.

Hermann, who has coached the Eagles varsity team since 1995 while compiling a 151-60 record, would not comment on the investigation. He said he had not seen any documents by the FHSAA as of Thursday night, but had spoken with Burnett about the letter.

"I'm confident that I have not recruited anybody, and that this whole thing will be dropped," Hermann said.

Burnett said this is not the first time the FHSAA had questioned Hermann about possible recruiting violations.

"There was one other inquiry about a year and a half ago," Burnett said. "We responded on it, and we never heard another word about it."

Brandon principal Becky Anderson said she did not know of any letter from the FHSAA as of Thursday night and could not comment.

As coach of one of the most consistent and dominant teams in the county, Hermann led the Eagles to the Class 5A state final in 2000. The Eagles also won Western Conference titles in 1997, 1999 and 2000.

This season, the Eagles (11-4) are ranked No. 7 in the Class 4A state poll.

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