Heavy sanctions against the Krop Senior High boys' basketball program have its legendary former coach crying foul.
After a six-month investigation into whether school officials falsified information in order to play ineligible students, the Florida High School Athletic Association today announced that Krop will be banned from post-season play for three years and fined $53,000.
Additionally, the entire athletic program at Krop is on probation for a year.
"If you're an organization that's for kids, how can you fine a school $53,000 that goes for these kids?" asked former coach 'Shakey' Rodriguez. "For athletic gear, for transportation. This is for the kids, for God's sake."
The controversy began when the FHSAA said Krop star Brian Delancy didn't properly establish that he lived in the area served by Krop after he moved from the Bahamas. The team was forced out of the state playoffs, then parents sued and won a brief injunction.
But when that injunction ended, the FHSAA came back with even more allegations -- accusing two more players of residency violations, and implying school officials falsified documents.
Altogether, the FHSAA says it found five players ineligible.
“We’ve had other situations in the past where mistakes have been honestly made, and are the result of human error,” FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing told the Miami Herald. “That was not the case here. The investigation proved there was a blatant disregard for the rules in place.”
In the wake of the scandal, Krop principal Dr. Matthew Welker was demoted and reassigned, and Rodriguez stepped down. But the former coach calls the investigations and sanctions "an absolute dog and pony show."
"This is an executive director who is full of vengeance and wanted to get at us," he said of Dearing, accusing the FHSAA director of having "the professionalism of a 3-year-old child."
Rodriguez told NBCMiami Wednesday night he is suing the FHSAA.
"My job is to coach a basketball team. I don't deal with [student visas]. Never have. If an athletic director or a school administrator tells me that a kid can play, he plays. If a kid is attending the school, he plays."
Parents and current players who had nothing to do with the scandal aren't the only ones upset by the massive fine.
"I think it's immoral," said Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo. "I think it's harsh. I think it's punitive. And lacks merit."
Rodriguez said he resigned on his own in order to take the heat off the current student basketball players, and is fuming that innocent kids will be penalized.
"I'm out," he said. "They wanna get me, fine! I mean, like I said, I've held from day one, I've done nothing wrong in this matter. But if they wanna get me, I'm out! The principal's no longer there. Move on! You know, move on! Are we here for kids or for some ego maniac adult sitting in an office in FHSAA? They want to prove a point."