Last week, the school paper “The RoundUp News,” reported that football head coach Carlos Woods is under internal investigation for allegedly allowing four players to live in the team locker room on campus.

Staff and football players filed complaints to the school for not only having four players live in the locker room, but for collecting rent money from 30 football players who lived in a three-bedroom apartment on De Soto Avenue and Vanowen Street. Woods is on administrative leave and Pierce College football has named Anthony Harris as acting head coach while the investigation is still underway. “He will be joining us in time for the team’s away football game this weekend against Santa Barbara City College,” said Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen in a statement on Thursday.  

The unnamed players told the campus newspaper that some players ended up homeless and living in the locker room after being evicted by coach Woods for not paying rent. Players living in the apartment on De Soto described that they slept on stacked bunked beds and cots, according to The RoundUp News. The former head coach is also under investigation for recruiting out-of-state players and fielding ineligible players in games. 

According to the California Community College Athletic Association Constitution, Woods may be found violating Bylaw 2.15.2. C, which is “obtaining, securing, or soliciting of housing for a prospect/student-athlete that is not available to all students at the community college,” as well as Bylaw 2.6.1 “out-of-state recruiting is prohibited.” 

“It’s not really fair to those football players that are really put in a horrible position, they been flown across the country and have been sold this dream of gold,” said student journalist Arielle Zolezzi, who broke the story on Woods.

Woods recruited players out-of-state and promised affordable living like only paying $300-$400 a month that would include everything. Woods also told players that they would be housed with four to five other football players, according to Jose Cordova, a former football player who no longer attends Pierce college.

“Coach Woods told me that I was valid to move to L.A., from Orlando, Florida, and that my housing would be set up with other players coming in and returning athletes,” said Cordova.

“I have personally sent money to players to get Ubers, I have fed players, I really do feel bad because it’s not fair to anybody to be put in that position,” said Zolezzi. Cordova told the school paper that 30 players lived in the 3-bedroom apartment and that half of those players would not pay their rent. “He promised actual living space, and it ended up being like a camp/jail with how many people were living in that house,” said Cordova. 

According to Cordova, Woods told players that they had until the end of the 2018 fall semester to live there and he eventually became homeless at one point. 

Woods was placed on leave at his previous job in 2017 when he was an assistant football coach at Gavilan College. Woods and another coach were accused of benefits and recruiting violations that resulted in self-imposed sanctions for school and 17 players dismissed from the football team. The situation is almost similar to the one Woods is in now, the 17 players that were dismissed at Gavilan College were out-of-state recruits who were housed in a three-bedroom home in Hollister. 

Last September, one of the players on the team told Zolezzi about the living conditions of the apartment on De Soto Avenue but did not feel comfortable about going on the record at the time. This immediately sparked an interest in Zolezzi to find out more about what was going on at the apartment and what role Woods played in it.

“My editor-in-chief at the time didn’t want to run such a sensitive story without people on record speaking about it,” said Zolezzi. “Because around that time, no one would.” 

Zolezzi remained persistent on the story and eventually got one of the players to share information on record about what was going on at the apartment on De Soto Avenue.

“I continued to listen to people’s stories, I continued to ask around and once they got evicted from the apartment one player graciously offered up information to me on record,” said Zolezzi. 

We will continue to provide you updates on Woods investigation here on Scriberr News. 

Written ByJorge Ventura

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