AIA clears schools named in Mountain Pointe coach leaked info scandal

Oct 22, 2019, 4:35 AM

Justin Hager (Home Teams Online Photo/Mountain Pointe Women's Basketball)...

Justin Hager (Home Teams Online Photo/Mountain Pointe Women's Basketball)

(Home Teams Online Photo/Mountain Pointe Women's Basketball)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Interscholastic Association has decided not to punish any of the teams named in the Mountain Pointe High School recruiting scandal but did express concern that the story didn’t surface sooner.

“The best thing we can take away is, why is a school from out of state letting everybody know, ‘I think you’ve got a problem here.’ … The fact that this has gone on for a couple of years is disturbing,” AIA executive director David Hines said.

The AIA’s executive council met on Monday for the first time since news broke of former Mountain Pointe assistant coach Justin Hager leaking information to other schools.

Following a report that several Arizona high schools, including Pinnacle, Highland, Perry and Chandler, received sensitive game details from Hager’s burner email account, the AIA investigated the schools to see if any had benefited from the information shared to them.

“From the information that they were able to retrieve, there was no dialogue back and forth,” Hines said. “They did receive an email, and most of those were just deleted, but there was not a dialogue going back and forth between WalterPayton12 and the schools in question.”

Mountain Pointe football coach Rich Wellbrock only found out when an out-of-state school – Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas – contacted him about the information received.

Because emails suggested the sharing of information had been occurring for up to three years, the AIA is hoping to prevent issues like this one from reoccurring.

“As an association, we need to police ourselves,” Hines said. “It’s appropriate for coaches to communicate to coaches, and athletic directors to communicate to athletic directors, ‘Hey we’ve received this, I think there’s something going on, you need to check into this,’ and end at that.”

Hines said that it should be the goal of the AIA, as well as coaches and athletic directors across the state, to ensure that all sports be held to a higher standard.

He also noted that not all the information shared by Hager was accurate, mentioning one email from the coach that said three players would miss a game because of injury. All three ended up playing.

The Tempe Union High School District Governing Board voted unanimously to dismiss Hager on Oct. 2. He had tried to quit but the board of governors chose not to accept his resignation so they could fire him.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Photos of a secret compartment found in a vehicle stopped in Marana, Arizona, and some of the drugs...

Arizona DPS troopers find fentanyl, cocaine, heroin hidden in secret compartment

Arizona state troopers arrested two people after finding more than 30 pounds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop last week.

43 minutes ago

Traffic is backed up on Interstate 10 in Phoenix backed up after a pedestrian was struck and killed...

Pedestrian struck, killed on EB Interstate 10 approaching Broadway Curve in Phoenix

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Interstate 10 in Phoenix on Monday morning, backing up rush hour traffic for miles, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Smoke is visible at the scene of a deadly crash in Mesa, Arizona, in this image from an Arizona Dep...

2 dead after passenger van hits wall, bursts into flames on East Valley freeway ramp

Two people were killed in a fiery crash on an East Valley freeway exit ramp on Sunday night, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Jesus Castillo-Ordonez mugshot...

Man accused in west Phoenix murder, also linked to November armed robbery

A man was arrested in connection to a murder and armed robbery in west Phoenix, authorities said.

4 hours ago

The holidays are here and with that can come a certain level of stress. A Valley health expert has ...

Balin Overstolz McNair

Valley health expert gives tips on reducing holiday stress

The holidays are here and with that can come a certain level of stress. A Valley health expert has tips to take pressure off yourself and loved ones.

5 hours ago

Michael Crow...

Damon Allred

ASU president Michael Crow ‘optimistic’ about COVID-related learning loss recovery

With Arizona's education still suffering from learning loss, ASU president Michael Crow says they "are moving in (the right) direction."

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

AIA clears schools named in Mountain Pointe coach leaked info scandal