Lawsuit filed to battle Bellevue (Washington) sanctions

Bellevue football

A lawsuit has been filed in King County Superior Court in Washington asking the court to overturn sanctions against the Bellevue High School football program.  Currently, the Wolverines are banned from playing in the postseason for two years, plus Bellevue isn’t allowed to play any non-league games for two years and out-of-state teams for four years.  The team also can’t accept any support from its Bellevue Wolverine Football Club for four years.

Related: SeaKing District 2 reduces Bellevue playoff ban

According to The Seattle Times, a lawsuit was filed Monday by the Bellevue Wolverine Football Club, plus football parents Jarret Johnson and Tami and Dinny Hansen.  Johnson’s son is reported to be an incoming freshman player, while the Hansens have a son who is a sophomore in the program.

The Seattle Times reports that the 14-game suit states the sanctions are “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the facts and the governing Washington law.”

The lawsuit doesn’t seek monetary damage.  The plaintiffs are just asking that the sanctions be lift.

The school has distanced itself from the Bellevue Wolverine Football Club after an independent investigation determined that it had made nearly $600,000 worth of payments to head coach Butch Goncharoff over a ten year (2002-2012) period.  The story goes on to say that a new booster club called the Bellevue High School Football Club has been formed and is working to raise money for the program, even though it can’t give the football team any money for at least two years.

School district officials had planned to fire Goncharoff, but instead placed him on administrative leave.


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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.