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Hart penalized for breaking CIF rule

Three players in the Hart High football program will not be allowed to play at the varsity level next season for breaking a CIF rule.

The players, two freshmen and a sophomore, violated the CIF prior contact rule and followed a youth football coach to the high school program, said Thom Simmons, the CIF Southern Section Director of Communications.

Hart High School administrators brought the rule violation to the attention of the CIF officials and imposed their own sanctions on the football program and the players.

The sophomore will have to miss some games because he is not eligible to play at the junior varsity level next season. The number of games he is expected to miss has yet to be determined. The two freshmen will have to start the season on the junior varsity level. They did not play on the freshman team.

The Hart High School District officials did not release the names of the players or the coach in question. Simmons said he was satisfied with the way Hart principal Collyn Nielsen handled the situation.

Hart Superintendent Robert Challinor said he did not believe the rule violation was intentional.

“I fully support the appropriate actions taken by Principal Nielsen and his staff on accepting responsibility for this violation and reporting it promptly to CIF,” Challinor said. “We do believe that Hart High School has not intentionally violated the rules.”

The Hart football team reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs before losing to top-seeded Westlake.