Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 1, 2013

School mum on football suspensions


— TRAVERSE CITY — School officials remained tight-lipped about what prompted them to suspend eight Traverse City West football players on the eve of a playoff game against Rockford.

West head coach Tim Wooer today used a profanity and said he wasn't "going to answer one more question" before hanging up on a Record-Eagle reporter. West was short-handed headed to a playoff game against Rockford because of suspensions to team members.

Traverse City Area Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Guitar confirmed the athletes violated one of the district's extracurricular rules, but wouldn't comment further.

TCAPS' student handbook lists drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco or using drugs as violations. Guitar said the suspensions would last 30 percent of the football season, or into other sports if West fell to Rockford.

"It'll be partially served this season and whatever their next sport is," she said.

The students will remain in class during their athletic suspensions.

Athletic Director Patti Tibaldi said she couldn't confirm what rule or rules the students broke, citing confidentiality concerns.

"We protect our students' confidentiality; we're disappointed and we're moving on," Tibaldi said.

Traverse City police and the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Department said there were no dispatch reports of incidents involving West players.