Sports editor Andrew Shults sat down with AD Greg Luna to discuss the disqualification of the football team from CIF on Wednesday, November 12. In it, Luna admits to the existence of photo evidence. He also states he is content with how he and the administration handled the situation.
Andrew Shults: What evidence was there to support South Pas’ disqualification from CIF?
Greg Luna: The evidence that [La Canada] had included pictures as well as testimony from individuals that were there at La Canada.
AS: Is there any other evidence that is being withheld that may contribute to the allegations?
GL: Not to my knowledge
AS: How was it decided that South Pasadena would be disqualified from CIF?
GL: The complaint was filed by La Canada to the league. The league principals spoke either in person or via telephone. They discussed the alleged violation, and given the evidence that was presented to them, they felt that there was enough supporting evidence to deem a disqualification of South Pas.
AS: Do you know how La Canada initially found out about the alleged filming?
GL: [According to La Canada,] their coaching staff approached an individual that was on their campus with equipment videotaping.
AS: Do you feel the South Pasadena Administration could have handled this situation better?
GL: I don’t know about “better”, but I think we handled it pretty well. I know that people are disappointed in the decision to inform the kids after the fact and when we informed them. I think that there’s a lot of things we took into consideration. Whenever we told them, they were going to be disappointed. Our concern was trying to provide them with as normal an experience as possible. So part of that was determining that we were going to allow them to play the game and play [it] as normally as they normally would. I just want to reiterate that in the two years I have worked with high school students, both coaching and teaching, there is no easy way to say something like that to a kid. They work really hard, you’re helping them achieve their goals. They’ve achieved their goals, and now we have to inform them that they cannot enjoy the fruits of their labor. So there is no easy way to tell them. It probably is, in retrospect, I support the way we and the administration decided to do it. Had we done it a different way, we’d be talking about why did you tell them before the game as opposed to after. So, there is no formula. I can guarantee you that all the people involved were very thoughtful and conscientiousness about the reaction the kids would have.
AS: Why did the administration choose not to submit an at-large bid to CIF?
GL: There are many factors to that decision, including even though the alleged violations had been investigated, and the outcome had been reached, there were other factors that kind of domino’d because of that. So at that time, we were not certain as to other possibilities and other proprieties, and other factors that with student confidentiality that I can’t discuss.
AS: Is it possible you could elaborate upon the other factors?
GL: We have to protect the students’ identity and confidentiality. I just want to say that no kids broke any rules, but a lot of it has to do with whether we are going to, given the circumstances, how competitive our team is going to be. So, our coach not being able to coach. Our coaching staff being taken back by what happened, and the administration and myself still looking at other things that came up though the process of this investigation.