CENTERBURG — Centerburg High School has announced it has forfeited all of its football wins, varsity and junior varsity, from the 2010 season. The school also forfeited its first three wins in the girls basketball season.
Centerburg athletic director Jim Stoyle confirmed today that the teams used an ineligible player.
Stoyle says the two players involved were home-schooled but did not meet the new clarified requirements for student-athletes by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
According to Centerburg schools superintendent Dorothy Holden, OHSAA voted over the summer to clarify a rule requiring home-schooled athletes to attend at least one class inside a “brick-and-mortar building” to retain eligibility.
Previously, homes-chooled students could maintain eligibility by taking an online course, if provided by the district.
“Typically, we vote on rule changes when they’re sport-specific,” Holden said. “This wasn’t brought to our attention until after the vote.”
Stoyle says the school did not learn of the eligibility issue until it was too late.
“Because it was a clarification, and not a rule change, it wasn’t specifically brought up in any compliance meetings,” Stoyle said.
Because one of the players participated in each Centerburg win, the games will have to be forfeited.
Holden says the girls basketball team had already played three games when the clarification was discovered.
“The athletic director and the coach were notified, and the player was removed from the team,” Holden said. “We then contacted the OHSAA and made them aware of the situation.”
Stoyle says the clarification was put in place because schools were misinterpreting the rule. Both Holden and Stoyle insist there was no intent to deceive, and that no coaches were aware of any violation.
“As soon as we learned of the violation, we took action,” Holden said.
Centerburg administrators have yet to receive a response from OHSAA.
The football games forfeited include Centerburg’s wins over Lucas on Sept. 3, Loudonville on Oct. 8 and Northridge on Oct. 15.
In girls basketball, the Trojans forfeited their wins over Highland on Nov. 27, Loudonville on Dec. 2 and Crestview on Dec. 4.