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MHSA fines Missoula Sentinel for recruiting violation

Posted at 5:14 PM, Apr 09, 2019

HELENA — The Montana High School Association leveled a rare ruling on Monday, fining Missoula Sentinel for a recruiting violation.

The school must pay a $100 fine, reprimand the guilty party, and take steps to prevent recruiting in the future. MTN Sports attended the open portion of the meeting when the punishment was determined on Monday. Specifics of the recruiting violations were discussed in a closed-door meeting, but, according to a source familiar with the situation, former Drummond-Philipsburg standout Jaxon Lee is the student-athlete in question. The source also indicated there were other instances of Sentinel attempting to recruit other student-athletes from the area.

Lee transferred to Class AA Sentinel earlier this year after helping lead Drummond-Philipsburg to back-to-back 8-Man state championships. Drummond-Philipsburg coach Mike Cutler, who is also the superintendent at Philipsburg, brought forth the formal complaint at Monday’s meeting.

Lee is considered one of the top football talents in Montana and owns a scholarship offer from Montana State.

“In my opinion, he’s the best player on the field. He’s going to be the best player on a lot of fields,” Cutler told MTN Sports in November. “I’m proud of him. That’s nothing against our guys, they’re good football players. He’s just one part of it.”

Missoula County Public Schools declined to respond to the punishment. In a response to MTN Sports, MCPS communications director Hatton Littman stated, “We have no comment on matters that are conducted in closed private sessions.”