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San Pedro Coach Caught Cheating

From Times Staff Reports

Paul Bryan, a volunteer assistant football coach at San Pedro, has been suspended from coaching next season after he was caught cheating on videotape filmed by another school.

During a game against Gardena on Oct. 28, on a fourth-and-inches situation with 7 minutes 19 seconds left to play, Bryan is seen near midfield moving a yard marker in a direction that benefited San Pedro. The Pirates, holding a 7-6 lead at the time, were awarded the first down without a measurement. They went on to score and win the game, 14-13.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Dec. 04, 2005 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday December 04, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
High school football -- An article in Thursday’s Sports section said San Pedro’s Oct. 28 victory over Gardena gave it the Marine League title outright. San Pedro didn’t clinch the league title until it had won two more league games.

“It’s very upsetting that something like this would be done given that we’re making an emphasis this year on character education and coaches doing the right thing,” said Barbara Fiege, commissioner of the Los Angeles City Section. “We’re talking about one coach at one school, and the school should not be vilified for the actions of one.”

Bryan, who has coached for more than 20 years, is a teacher’s assistant in San Pedro’s special education program. This incident will have no bearing on his employment status, a district spokesperson said.

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However, more punitive actions could take place Dec. 13, when the matter appears before the City Section’s nine-member Rules Committee.

“It clearly was a violation, it was done by a coach, there can be implications for the program,” Fiege said. “Given the volunteer status of the coach, there may be other issues involved there. It’s hard for me to make a guess because it’s made by the committee after all the facts are on the table.”

The victory gave San Pedro (9-3) the outright Marine League title. The Pirates were seeded fourth in the City playoffs but were beaten by Sylmar, 33-30, in the quarterfinals.

Gardena (5-6) was seeded 15th and lost to second-seeded Crenshaw, 49-0, in the first round.

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-- Martin Henderson

Norco’s Toby Gerhart, who broke the state’s career rushing record this season, has been selected Gatorade’s 2005 California football player of the year. He becomes a finalist for the national award to be announced next month.

A 6-foot-1, 228-pound senior, Gerhart has rushed for 2,524 yards and 29 touchdowns this season.


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