A Florida high school football coach was suspended six games for helping one of his players, according to multiple news reports.

Rob Weiner, who coaches Henry B. Plant High in Tampa, will not be on the sidelines starting on Friday after the school self-reported two violations. At a press conference on Wednesday, Weiner explained the situation to local media outlets.

“The story is actually very simple,” he told WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate. “There was a child in need and we answered the call.”

A player, who moved from out of state, had his living situation fall through, several outlets reported. That’s when Weiner stepped in and arranged for him to stay with a former Plant parent.

“My charge for 33 years (as an assistant and head coach) has been to take care of kids,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “I like to think that we’ve done that in a really sincere way.”

According to the Florida High School Athletic Association handbook, Weiner violated policies 36 and 37. Policy 36 forbids athletic recruiting while 37 outlines impermissible benefits such as making living arrangements for student-athletes. Weiner was fined $5,000 in addition to the six-game suspension.

Although the player in question had been previously declared ineligible, the Tampa Bay Times reported that he won his appeal hearing on Thursday. He’s now eligible to play Friday.

Weiner told the media that he plans to appeal the FHSAA’s decision next week. In the meantime, he’ll continue to coach practices but won’t be allowed to attend the games.

Despite the penalty, Weiner contends he made the right decision, telling WFTS that his only motivation was to get the player in a “safe and healthy environment.”

Hillsborough County Public Schools issued the following statement:

“We have seen the impact Coach Rob Weiner has on our student-athletes. For many years, he has changed students’ lives and their trajectories through the relationships he builds with students and their families. We understand and recognize the FHSAA has clear rules and has determined that this was a violation. We know Coach Weiner will continue to make a significant impact on our students.”

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.





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