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High schools: Prospect D.J. Ward's eligibility at Southmoore in question

Another hardship waiver request with the OSSAA might be needed. Until then, the defensive lineman can only sit and watch.
by Ryan Aber Published: September 2, 2012

D.J. Ward surprised many Thursday when he showed up at Southmoore High School to enroll after not quite a month at Douglass.

It's been a hectic month of moving and upheaval for Ward, the state's top player in the 2013 class, after a long period of stability.

Unlike many military families, Ward didn't move from town to town, jumping from school to school.

He had been in Lawton for his entire school years until this summer, when his father, Demetrius Sr., applied for and accepted a job as a Junior ROTC instructor at Douglass High School.

The family moved into temporary housing in the Southmoore district, with plans to move into the Douglass district soon.

Those plans reportedly changed, leading to his change of enrollment last week.

The move puts the defensive lineman's eligibility in question.

He'd been granted a hardship waiver to compete at Douglass based on the family's plans at the time.

The situation has once again brought the rules of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association into the spotlight.

So here are a few questions and answers about the rules that govern the situation:

Is his playing in the final scrimmage important?

Yes. It established his eligibility at Douglass after the initial waiver was requested.

Had Ward not played in the Oklahoma City Preview, his eligibility would not have been set and the hardship could've been withdrawn, making him eligible after 15 days at Southmoore.

If he lives in the Southmoore district, why is a second hardship needed?

According to the rules, once a student has filed for a hardship waiver, they must file for another hardship waiver each time they transfer, even if it's a move from Guymon to Idabel.

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