St. Francis files complaint for alleged recruiting of football player

St. Francis athletic director Matt Luderer confirmed Friday that football coach Dean Herrington sent an official complaint to the CIF Southern Section alleging that a man has been trying to recruit his star junior lineman, Phillip Ocon, to Mission Hills Bishop Alemany.

A man who goes by “Coach Troop” left his phone number with Albert Ocon, his father said. Ocon said Troop told him, “Casey Clausen would love to meet with you.” Clausen is the head coach at Alemany. When the phone number was called again Friday, the man identified himself as “Coach Troop.” He said he didn’t have time to talk and has not returned a message.

When asked if he knew “Coach Troop,” Clausen said nobody by that name works for his football program and he does not know the identity of “Coach Troop.”

Several highly regarded transfers have enrolled at Alemany this spring. The elder Ocon said “Coach Troop” told him, “They’re getting 15 recruits.”

Ocon said this is not the first time someone who claims to represent a school has contacted his 6-foot-4, 310-pound son seeking to get him to switch schools via social media. Herrington sent screenshots from Ocon’s social media account to the Southern Section.

The use of social media has become an easy way for people associated with high schools to contact athletes and gauge the interest of parents in changing schools. It’s a violation of the CIF’s undue influence rule 510 to seek athletes already enrolled at schools but has been happening more frequently because most parents are unwilling to go on the record and lodge complaints with the Southern Section for fear it might hurt their son’s college recruiting prospects.

“It’s blatant recruiting,” Herrington said when asked why he sent in his complaint.

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