Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) -- A prep football player who claims he was manhandled by his coach can immediately play for another high school.
The extraordinary decision trumps a Utah rule that bars athletes from switching schools for sports.
A three-member panel convened Wednesday by the Utah High School Activities Association said Scott Lefrandt, a star player at Lone Peak High, can play this weekend at his new school, American Fork High.
The schools will play each other Oct. 10.
Lone Peak coach Monte Morgan was accused of grabbing Lefrandt by the shoulder pads and swearing at him after a 31-3 loss two weeks ago.
Morgan said he was upset when the quarterback/running back screamed foul language about the team's struggling offense.
"I did grab his (pads) with both hands," Morgan said, demonstrating to the panel. "I did (swear). But in no way was Scott manhandled in any way."
Other coaches defended Morgan, saying he had been lenient toward Lefrandt, a senior with a history of discontent.
"The panel believes that this student was provocative (and) that he was intentionally defiant, that he said things that under ordinary circumstances might be characterized by a coach as unhelpful to the team," said Mark Van Wagoner, attorney for the high school association.
"All that having been said, the panel is going to permit him to go play because the panel sees itself as the only remedy available to a student for the kind of misconduct ... admitted to in this instance," Van Wagoner said.
Lone Peak suspended the coach for a week. American Fork players voted in favor of adding Lefrandt to their team.
------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)