Bellevue High School’s football program will be investigated by Bob Westinghouse and Carl Blackstone, two former federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice, the WIAA said in a news release Tuesday.
Bob Westinghouse and Carl Blackstone, two former federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice, have been selected by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to investigate alleged violations of its rules by the Bellevue High School football program.
The WIAA’s announcement Tuesday comes after the organization was asked by Bellevue High School in late August to provide a fact-finding of alleged violations. The request was issued to the WIAA following a Seattle Times story that detailed how a small private school, Academic Institute, aided in the football program’s success. In the story, two former teachers at the school called it a “diploma mill.”
Westinghouse and Blackstone, of Yarmuth Wilsdon PLLC, recently worked as internal investigators for Seattle and Tacoma Public Schools.
Bellevue football investigation:
“Blackstone and Westinghouse are experienced in this area with their independent in-depth, fair and thorough reviews,” WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said in a news release.
After the fact-finding review is completed, the results — and any potential violations — will be sent to the school and the WIAA. The school then would turn the findings over to the KingCo Conference, which could issue sanctions.
The Bellevue High School football program is now serving several sanctions after self-reporting violations in June. The school said it found evidence that coaches had encouraged players to participate in out-of-season activities and provided cash to a player.
Among the penalties handed down was a two-game suspension for head coach Butch Goncharoff.
Bellevue, which has won 11 Class 3A state football championships in the past 15 years, on Friday lost its season opener 35-7 to Bishop Gorman of Nevada.