In a routine address to the Montgomery Bell Academy student body, Headmaster Brad Gioia told students “collection problems” were among the causes of last week’s TSSAA sanctions against the school.
Gioia addresses the student body of the entire school weekly at an assembly to discuss matters facing the school. A recap of the address is then sent to MBA alumni.
In this week’s address, Gioia discussed sanctions levied by the TSSAA for financial aid violations committed by the century-plus-old institution.
According to the recap, Gioia told students that "collection problems" were a cause of sanctions.
In his words:
“I then addressed the student body about the difficult situations that have occurred involving the TSSAA regarding tuition, financial aid, and recruitment violations. Tuition payments can only be made by parents, relatives, or guardians, and bills must be paid within 60 days or students-athletes are not allowed to participate in sports. For recruiting, no one can wrongfully entice someone to attend an academic institution. MBA had several incidents where tuition was paid by people other than relatives or guardians. Although most of these instances were due to families being in distress, TSSAA rules were still broken. We also experienced collection problems where tuition payments were not submitted on time. I regret that we had recruiting issues and that students’ names were mentioned in the TSSAA letter. I lobbied unsuccessfully for students’ names to be omitted from the report and regret their inclusion.
“All of our punishments involved former teams at MBA. No current athletic teams will be penalized moving forward.
“This story has been immensely painful for the school. I told the students the best thing to do is to admit your wrongs, rise above the transgressions, and move ahead.”