by Tom Finkel
The former coach of the Vashon High School boys’ basketball team,Floyd Irons, was to be sentenced in federal court Friday for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that to date has ensnared three others (Michael Noll, John Mineo Jr. and Andrew Tegethoff).
Irons was charged on September 20, 2007, and was originally scheduled to be sentenced on November 29. He has been free on a $10,000 bond. The ex-coach is now slated to get his sentence on February 28, 2008.
He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, according to a plea agreement he signed.
Part of that plea agreement with the government stipulated that Irons provide information to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) about high school basketball players’ eligibility violations.
[Editor's note: Irons was the subject of a Riverfront Times investigation, "Basketball by the Book," in 2006-'07. The series, which was recognized with top honors by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Education Writers Association (EWA).]
MSHSAA executive director Kerwin Urhahn reports that he and Irons sat down for a talk in early December, along with MSHSAA’s general counsel and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith.
Urhahn plans to provide a preliminary report of the meeting to his board of directors when they meet next week.
Urhahn says Irons was forthcoming “on certain issues” and adds, “There were certain things we asked him, and he said he had no knowledge of them. It’s one of those things where I can’t force the gentleman.”
Urhahn declines to provide specifics but says the conversation with Irons covered more than just Vashon High School. Urhahn plans to approach the athletic directors of the other relevant schools. “I want them to be aware of what was said and see if they can verify or deny any validity,” Urhahn says. He declines to name who may be implicated.
The MSHSAA director says his agency’s investigation will continue over the next several months. He cannot estimate when it will conclude, or what violations may be imposed, if any.