Andrew Robison was effectively told his high school football playing days were over at an emotional appeal hearing before the Louisiana High School Athletic Association last Thursday in Hammond, and the Hahnville High School senior and his family plan to fight.
The family of Robison, the former quarterback of the Vandebilt Catholic football team and who transferred to Hahnville earlier this year, stated in the aftermath of the denied appeal that it would explore all legal options. The family is being represented by Luling attorney David Moyer, who said those options could include actions against the LHSAA, Vandebilt Catholic and Vandebilt Catholic head football coach Jeremy Atwell.
The denied appeal concerned LHSAA sanctions handed down in August that rendered Robison ineligible and Hahnville head football coach Nick Saltaformaggio suspended for four games, as result of an apparent investigation sparked by Vandebilt Catholic alleging recruiting violations by HHS. Robison transferred to Hahnville following Vandebilt’s decision to not renew the contract of Robison’s father, Drew, who worked at the school as its head basketball coach and as the offensive coordinator of the football team.
The family released a statement through Moyer that called the allegations by VCHS “spiteful and vindictive” and said following Drew Robison’s dismissal, the family was left to support a family of five on one income and unable to pay the Vandebilt tuition, prompting a move into the Hahnville High School attendance zone. The family also said all LHSAA rules were followed in regards to that move, and that this decision has left them “heartbroken and distraught.”
“We are at this point for one reason and one reason only: a former coach made the conscious decision that if Andrew was not going to play for him, then he would play for no one else,” the statement read. “That coach, upset because his ability to compete was diminished … pettily refused to let Andrew wear his jersey to a photo shoot. Andrew committed no wrongdoing whatsoever, under any interpretation of any rule, yet he suffers the greatest consequence.”
The family’s statement went on to say the LHSAA ruling “should be seen as a victory for any school or coach who decides to maliciously punish a student-athlete in a calculated, orchestrated manner, without any cause other than selfish, petty jealousy and greed. To everyone else in Louisiana, especially student-athletes, this can be seen as nothing less than a loss of inestimable proportions.”