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Lakeside football coach Jody Grooms will not return to his position of athletic director and will lose a significant portion of his salary supplement, Columbia County school system superintendent Charlie Nagle said Thursday.

A final punishment had not yet been completed, but Nagle said he hoped to wrap up his investigation soon.

"I feel pretty confident that I will not be recommending him to be reinstated as the athletic director," he said.

Even if a final decision is made today, it might not be released to the public for another 10 days.

"(Lakeside principal Dr. Jeff) Carney is going to be sending something to me, and hopefully I'll know what his recommendation is," Nagle said. "When I get the recommendation from Dr. Carney, I'll write a charge letter to the employee informing him of all the decisions that have been made. Then he has 10 days to appeal it or accept it."

Nagle said he won't release the punishment to the public until Grooms accepts it or the 10-day period to appeal has passed.

Losing the athletic director position means Grooms will have to give up an extra planning period allotted to all Columbia County athletic directors. It also includes a loss in pay. For the 2007-08 school year, Grooms was to be paid an additional $11,901 for his duties as athletic director.

Grooms has been under scrutiny since he called an illegal play in a game at Effingham County on Nov. 2. The first-year Lakeside coach has publicly apologized for the act.

The Georgia High School Association has placed Grooms on "severe warning status" and fined the school $250.

Greenbrier's athletic program is also under scrutiny after principal Dr. Margie Hamilton said in a statement released Wednesday that ineligible football players had played in regular season games this past year.

The school has forfeited two of its regular season games as a result.

On Thursday, Nagle said a broader investigation is under way at Greenbrier reviewing paperwork of all sports. The final report might not be submitted to the GHSA until next week, and a punishment from the board of education won't be announced until after the GHSA makes its final decision.

"There are so many things to consider here, and you don't want to do the wrong things. You want to do the right things for the right reasons," Nagle said.

Greenbrier football coach Scott Chadwick has temporarily stepped down as athletic director until the investigation is complete.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 863-6165 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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