SA Cornerstone withdraws from TAPPS amid allegations of illegal athletic recruiting

Cornerstone says in letter allegations, rumors are 'baseless'


SAN ANTONIO – Cornerstone Christian Schools is no longer a part of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools amid allegations of illegal athletics competition practices.

CCS administrators released a letter Tuesday via Facebook that stated the school’s intention to leave TAPPS.

The letter written by superintendent Dr. Jerry Eshleman discussed the school’s growth and investments into its facilities, academic excellence, and teaching and coaching staffs.

It continued by saying those improvements have brought about "baseless" allegations and rumors. The letter read in part:

“Unfortunately, some in the larger San Antonio community do not welcome our growth. Rather, they have chosen to spread rumors and make baseless allegations against CCS. Sadly, despite our being in good standing with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), some have elected to use these allegations as an excuse to avoid competing with us. Our students are our first priority, and we cannot and will not allow this turn of events to diminish their opportunities."

KSAT reached out to TAPPS for clarification on Cornerstone’s standing and received a statement via email from Executive Director Bryan Bunselmeyer that read: 

“Cornerstone Christian School has notified TAPPS of their decision to withdraw all athletic activities from our organization immediately. As of this date, the school’s athletic department is no longer aligned with TAPPS.” 

In the letter, Cornerstone asked TAPPS to allow its students to compete in fine arts and academic competitions

Bunselmeyer told KSAT the board will determine whether the school can compete in fine arts competitions next week.

Bunselmeyer added that no restrictions have been placed on any current TAPPS schools that want to compete in an athletic event against Cornerstone.

Cornerstone has recently bolstered its athletics programs and Eshleman stated in the letter the school's student body has grown 30 percent since last year. 

The current list of head coaches feature prominent names for multiple sports.

That has drawn criticism from area private and public schools that claim Cornerstone has engaged in illegal recruiting or transfer practices for athletic purposes or gain.

Asked for comment on the illegal recruiting or transfers, Ari Morgenstern, media relations advisor for the school, told KSAT, “Cornerstone will not dignify baseless allegations with a response.”

Morgenstern also referred KSAT to a social media post that featured a quote from TAPPS Athletic Director Robert Huckabee that stated Cornerstone’s “transfers are being processed like any other school in the organization.”

When asked by KSAT if Cornerstone had ever engaged in illegal recruiting, Bunselmeyer said via email, “As the school has withdrawn from TAPPS for athletic competitions our transfer process has not been completed at this time.”

Saint Mary’s Hall announced Monday it was canceling its varsity football game against Cornerstone on Aug. 31, citing “the safety of our players.”

The letter said Cornerstone has already scheduled independent games against strong football opponents with more to follow.

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