This three bedroom house on Paul Drive in Hollister was the living space for 17 players and their landlord, who they said offered to let them forego rent for a couple of weeks so they could buy beds and books.
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Gavilan is one step closer toward finalizing sanctions against its football team following potential recruiting and benefits violations that led to the dismissal of 17 players at the end of August.
The Northern California Conference of the California Community College Athletic Association said Friday it had agreed with the self-imposed sanctions Gavilan proposed and mailed its final report out earlier that day.
Football Commissioner Gary Kollenborn said Gavilan now has 10 days from when it receives his findings to appeal the decision. If the college declines to appeal, the sanctions will stand. But should Gavilan opt into the appeal, the case will go up the ladder to the CCCAA.
Gavilan should receive the findings next week.
But he said the college’s investigation followed the letter of the law and had no additional penalties.
Kollenborn said he did not want to comment on the specific nature of the sanctions until Gavilan had a chance to review the final report and had a chance to make a decision on an appeal.
“Gavilan did an excellent job in terms of researching issues and following our constitution and by laws and taking appropriate actions,” Kollenborn said.
He added he wished every college was as thorough and cooperative as Gavilan has been in this process.
Gavilan has previously declined to elaborate on the nature of the sanctions pending the conclusion of the process.
Gavilan’s troubles stemmed from 17 out of state players on the football team who were sent home amid controversy surrounding their living arrangements and possible recruitment.
All 17 players were living in a single three-bedroom house in Hollister where they were accused of not paying rent for the first month they stayed there as well as receiving free food from the homeowner.
The players acknowledged they hadn’t paid rent for August, but said it was part of an agreement to pay for necessities for the house and they would start actually paying rent in September.
Gavilan learned of the arrangement after a mother of a player called the Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose to express concern because the players had been threatened with eviction.
That set off a chain of events that included bringing in outside investigator Dale Murray, former athletic director at Cabrillo College and commissioner of the Coast Conference governing athletics for area junior colleges including Gavilan.
The athletes said they were forced to turn over cell phones and had to give access to texts and emails to the school and the investigators. They also said they were racially targeted by the college.
All but one of the players sent home were black.
Gavilan has denied their decision was racially motivated.
They said they were not given representation during the process.
Ultimately, the college found there were violations and dismissed the players from the team.
The college called in Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputies and Gilroy Police officers to escort players from the campus after some became vocal outside the athletic director’s office.
Two assistant coaches were also suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. One has resigned, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The college has not confirmed the status of the two coaches citing confidentiality rules for employees.

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Cheeto Barrera is the sports editor for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch.


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