The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association ruling that knocked the Sequoyah-Tahlequah football team out of the Class 3A playoffs was upheld by the OSSAA board of directors at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
Among other penalties, the school was forced to forfeit nine football games, taking away a district championship. But 11 of the 12 athletes involved in the case had their high school eligibility reinstated by the Board, starting with the next sport they participate in.
The 12th athlete — quarterback Brayden Scott, according to Scott's legal counsel — will not be eligible for the remainder of the school year. Scott has verbally committed to play football at Memphis next year.
According to OSSAA and Sequoyah-Tahlequah investigations, the athletes were said to have participated in individual camps that were paid for by the school, which is a violation of OSSAA rules.
Other penalties against the school and administrators involved include:
*Football coach Brent Scott is suspended from coaching at an OSSAA member school for one year.
*The football team cannot conduct spring practice in 2013 and the players cannot participate in team camps, 7-on-7 leagues or clinics next summer.
*The team is prohibited from playing any interschool scrimmages before the 2013 season.
*The school is placed on warning status for two years and must complete an operational audit of all sports programs regarding OSSAA rules compliance.
“I think they treated our boys as fairly as possible under the circumstances,” Sequoyah-Tahlequah athletic director Marcus Crittenden said. “To reinstate their eligibility, I think was a very fair outcome.”
ELGIN COACH TO SIT OUT THREE GAMES
Elgin football coach Matt Allen will be required to sit out the first three games of the 2013 season after the OSSAA board of directors ruled on the school's appeal to reinstate an athlete for violating an unspecified rule of amateurism.
Elgin was forced to forfeit one game, but the player in question was reinstated immediately by the Board.
INDEPENDENCE PROPOSAL TURNED AWAY
Oklahoma City Public Schools athletic director Keith Sinor and Putnam City Schools athletic director Dick Balenseifen were turned down on their proposed rule change regarding teams' individual independence from the OSSAA.
The Board voted against the proposal that would have allowed any OSSAA school to withdraw individual teams from the OSSAA, as opposed to the current rule that requires member schools to be in the association for all sports they play.
The Board told Sinor and Balenseifen they could return and apply for independence for individual teams in their school districts. However, multiple teams have applied for independence separate from their school, but none have succeeded.
Sinor said he would apply for independence for the U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill football teams.
“That's what we'll do, because we feel it's right for the kids,” he said. “We want to give them an opportunity to taste success.”
WASHINGTON LANDS AT DESTINY CHRISTIAN
Former Douglass running back Dion'Tay Washington has landed at Destiny Christian School.
The senior was ruled ineligible this season by the OSSAA after he transferred back to Millwood, where he attended his freshman year.
Washington joined Destiny Christian during Week 5 of its season and has played in three games, rushing for 509 yards and eight touchdowns off the bench.