SEFFNER, Fla. - It began with an I-Team investigation, and now the Florida High School Athletic Association has confirmed major rules violations that will likely cost Armwood High School its state football championship.
The report begins by saying the "undersigned investigator was asked to visit Armwood High School as a result of an ABC Action News Investigative Report."
In November, the I-Team reported on evidence Senior Jack Lightsey and his parents falsified enrollment documents claiming they lived in a Seffner apartment while maintaining their Orlando home.
“Is that apartment where you and your wife live?” we asked Tom Lightsey in October.” “Yes,” he responded.
But later, when asked by a state investigator when was the last time they saw the Lighsteys an Orlando neighbor responded, "I see them all the time."
In addition, the investigator discovered Jack Lightsey changed his drivers’ license to the Seffner address just after our report aired and the day before he was officially questioned.
On Monday, Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia responded to the findings.
"If it was a clerical snafu, it's someone entering information improperly. That really is not it. We had things that were happening where parents were not giving us the truth,” Elia said.
But the report also questions the truthfulness of Head Coach Sean Callahan. When asked if he met with the Lightseys before the transfer to Armwood, which is prohibited, Callahan said, "No sir, I didn't meet with any of the Lightsey family."
But Tom Lightsey told the state investigator, he, his wife, and son met with Callahan in his school office for 30-45 minutes before the transfer.
Four other top Armwood players, including Keionne Baines, were also found ineligible for falsifying information.
In one case, Dr. Roger Dearing, the Executive Director of the Florida High School Athletic Association told us, “An individual used a friend who works for a utility company to get a falsified bill to prove residency. That's pretty extensive."
Armwood has ten days to respond to the report.
If any of these five players were ineligible, the school would have to forfeit the games they played in, and the state championship.
A source close to the investigation tells the I-Team the school will not challenge some, if not all of the conclusions in the report.
More: Download and read the entire 45-page report at media2.abcactionnews.com/html/documents/ITeam/Armwood/Armwood Findings FB.doc .
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