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Lobo parents speak out about 'unfair punishment' in basketball program

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Players smoking weed, cursing at fans, and shoving opposing players.  Parents told Longview ISD trustees Monday night, they blame head coach Billy Goffney.

"There hasn't been a game this year that I haven't been at, and I've got a problem, Lobo grandmother Debra Herron told trustees.

Debra Herron's grandson, and Kenneth Talley's grandson play for the Lobos, and the grandparents say three players were caught smoking pot during a basketball trip. One parent told trustees her son was among the three student-athletes who coaches believed used marijuana on the trip.

Parents say two of the three kids were kicked off the team, but the third player suited up in Saturday's game.
Talley says he's seen punishment meted unfairly to his son compared to his teammates.

"The coaches have they picks out there of who they want to do this. My grandson was told to do so many hours of community work," Talley said. "He wasn't allowed in the gym. He had to go dress on another campus and run in the cold, and after he did all that, he still didn't play much. And it's really unfair."

The school district would not comment on individual students. But Community Relations Coordinator Adam Holland says coaches don't remove players from a team for smoking marijuana. They are placed on probation, and violating probation can get a student kicked off the squad.

CBS 19 has learned the Lobos in question were placed on probation. They had to complete 30 hours' community service, and write a report on the dangers of chemical abuse.

"Usually, when you hear of someone getting kicked off of a team, it's because of repeated violations or not coming through with their part of the agreement to community service or keep their nose clean in the classroom," Holland said.

Herron says her grandson deserved to be punished, but she thinks the punishment wasn't fairly meted out.

"Don't get me wrong, I know that foundation starts at home," Herron said, "but when we send them to school, we're also going to have to hold them accountable as well."

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