The Los Angeles Harbor College football program was placed on a one-year probation Monday by the Southern California Athletic Conference for recruiting violations reported by Moorpark College.
Coach Chris Ferragamo, who in 1987 completed his first season at Harbor after winning 10 City Section titles in 18 years at Banning High, sent a letter to high school football coaches outside the Harbor district requesting information on players. The letter violated a state code that prohibits a college representative from initiating a visit with any student outside district boundaries.
Among those receiving copies of the letter were coaches at several Ventura County high schools, who notified Moorpark officials.
Paul Dunham, Moorpark athletic director, said he received several calls from coaches about the letter. They provided him with copies, which he passed along to SCAC Commissioner David Hafiz and Western State Conference Commissioner Aviva Kamin.
Dunham also notified officials at Harbor, who later sent a letter of apology to Moorpark.
"We're not on a vengeance thing," Dunham said.
Harbor is a member of the SCAC but will join Moorpark in the WSC for football next fall.
"It was strange that our conference so quickly voted them in after what happened, but apparently it was a one-shot deal," Dunham said. "I doubt if it will happen again."
The SCAC board unanimously voted to penalize Harbor as prescribed by the state code. In addition to being placed on probation, the school officially has been reprimanded by the SCAC. The conference also will monitor the program's recruiting practices more closely.