Pierce College is investigating a situation in which football coach Carlos Woods reportedly forced 30 players to live in a three-bedroom apartment, according to the school's student newspaper The Roundup News.
The report also suggests that four additional students lived in the team's locker room. The situation allegedly arose because of Woods' promises to recruits before the fall semester in 2018. Those promises included housing for his new players, which the coach never actually secured.
"Los Angeles Pierce College has a proud tradition of providing intercollegiate competitive sports opportunities for our students in accordance with the established policies and procedures of the Los Angeles Community College District and the California Community College Athletics Association," school president Alexis Montevirgen said in a statement.
"The health and safety of our students is a primary concern of the College, our Chancellor and the Board of Trustees. Any allegations concerning employee misconduct or issues involving student safety are taken very seriously and will be thoroughly reviewed."
Former player Jose Cordova described the situation, saying Woods originally told four or five players they would share a three-bedroom apartment and spilt all of the bills.
"Coach Woods told me that I was valid to move to L.A. from Orlando, Florida, and that my housing would be set up with other players coming in and returning athletes," Cordova said. "Woods told me that it would be four to five players in a three bedroom, and we would all split the bills and each pay $350 for rent – everything included."
"He promised actual living space, and it ended up being like a camp/jail with how many people were living in that house," Cordova added. "Lines Woods had crossed would be 30 guys in a three-bedroom and almost half of his recruits wouldn't pay rent and bills wouldn't be paid."
Cordova also admitted that eviction notices began to pop up. The money that Woods collected from the team for rent was not being used for that purpose. Lack of electricity and water became a constant worry for the players.
They were ultimately evicted and forced to find somewhere else to live. Cordova confronted Woods via text message and Woods responded by saying "I feel it is best we go in different directions."
On Thursday, the school placed Woods on temporary administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. Montevirgen also announced that Pierce College hopes to "name an acting head coach for the football team within the next few days."
At a previous post as the football coach at Gavilan College, Woods and another coach were placed on administrative leave after recruiting and benefits violations occurred in 2017, according to the SanBenito.com.