Season over for ex-Morton Ranch player

August 13, 2009 9:01:23 PM PDT
Allegations of fake transcripts forced a college football player to be sent home from school. Coaches in the Katy school district are being questioned about possible tampering with academic transcripts. It's the latest allegation against three Morton Ranch High School coaches. But we spoke with that player's father, who is defending them.

Safety Joe Mitchell was ready for Oklahoma State's home opener on September 5, but earlier this week, the Morton Ranch high alum was sent home.

"Joe is devastated by it, of course he is," said Milton Mitchell, Joe's father. "He wants to be in school."

Milton Mitchell says they knew he had an incomplete class, but thought summer school had taken care of it.

"We thought he was good to go," said Milton. "He did the English over there. He made a B or B+."

According to an ESPN report, Mitchell has been sent home amid allegations that coaches at his high school might have tampered with his academic transcripts.

Not only does Milton Mitchell say he doesn't believe it, the father of the former Morton Ranch football standout and team captain says he doesn't buy any of the allegations that have pushed the top three Maverick coaches to the sidelines.

"You'll never make me believe that he would do anything like that," said Milton. "I don't believe Coach Orsagh or Coach Haug would do anything like that. I just don't."

Katy ISD says the three coaches remain on paid administrative leave after allegations involving student records, possible misuse of funds and athletic eligibility. Spokesperson Steve Stanford would not comment specifically on Mitchell's situation, saying only, "It is an ongoing investigation and we are still waiting on the findings."

But regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Joe Mitchell loses out. The safety will not be on the field when the OSU Cowboys kick off their season against Georgia in three weeks.

"This season, it's done," said Milton. "It's a sad deal."

Joe Mitchell has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He will take classes here in Houston and hopes to be back with the team next semester. As for the Morton Ranch football program, Katy school district Assistant Athletic Director Todd McVey will serve as interim coach, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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