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Sac-Joaquin section lowers some penalties against Stockton school

America Samoan Bruce Seumanutafa, second from left, heads to the practice field Tuesday at Franklin High in Stockton. He has emerged as a spokesman for the players from American Samoa. (Bart Ah You/ The Modesto Bee)
America Samoan Bruce Seumanutafa, second from left, heads to the practice field Tuesday at Franklin High in Stockton. He has emerged as a spokesman for the players from American Samoa. (Bart Ah You/ The Modesto Bee) Modesto Bee

STOCKTON - The California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section on Tuesday lowered previously imposed sanctions against Franklin High, which officials alleged had wrongly recruited up to 10 teenagers from American Samoa to play football.

The section's board of managers, the governing body of high school sports in the greater Sacramento and Modesto region, agreed to remove the sanctions against the school's nonfootball teams, and lowered the football program's punishment to barring the team from the playoffs next season. The program regains postseason eligibility for the 2009 season.

The board, composed of 26 school administrators representing the section's 26 leagues, earlier had voted unanimously to ban Franklin from fielding a football team until after the 2009 season and barred the team from the playoffs until after the 2011 season.

The board also threatened to prohibit all the school's winter and spring teams from any playoffs pending assurances from the school that it would follow section rules.

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