Teurlings Wrestling Coach Kent Masson Suspended for One Year By LHSAA
Teurlings Catholic wrestling head coach Kent Masson has been suspended for a calendar year for wrestling an athlete in the wrong weight class.
The seven-time Division II state wrestling championship coach told The Acadiana Advocate's Kevin Foote the error was simple.
"It was a clerical error," Masson said. "I had two progression sheets, and I mixed them up."
The incident happened at the Jacob McMillan Invitational at Lafayette High the week before Christmas.
While putting in the lineup, Masson switched two wrestlers. One eligible for the 145-pound weight division was put in the 138-pound division and vice versa.
That made one of the wrestlers eligible and the other one "wrestled illegally."
Masson said he caught the mistake the day after the tournament and turned himself into the LHSAA on Monday morning upon returning to school.
That wasn't enough for the LHSAA apparently.
“I don’t feel like the punishment fits the crime, but there aren’t really any other options in the handbook,” Teurlings principal Mike Boyer said. “There’s not a tiered system like in other sports. It is by far the toughest penalty code of any sport in the LHSAA handbook.”
Masson denies doing anything to "circumvent" the rule book.
"One mistake and I'm done for the year," Masson said.
The Acadiana Advocate attempted to reach LHSAA commissioner Eddie Bonine for comment but was unsuccessful.
“I understand the error that was made,” Boyer said. “It was just mixing up the numbers between two kids. The rule book says “wittingly or unwittingly” and I understand that. It makes sense.
“But it also says circumvent and coach Masson did not circumvent anything. He made a mistake, he recognized the mistake, he recorded the mistake and then he turned himself in.”
In addition to being the team's head coach, Masson also serves as the team's bus driver on road trips. He will not be allowed to perform this duty until December 17, 2020.
Longtime assistant Brad Macha will take over as the interim head coach. That actually began this past weekend as the Rebels crusied to their third straight parish duals championship at Carencro High.