One year after winning the Class A state football championship, Ringling is being investigated by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association for playing an ineligible player throughout this season.
The investigation is the result of the OSSAA receiving an anonymous letter Tuesday with the allegations that a senior repeated a grade in middle school but did not sit out the required year.
Ringling said the player did not play Friday night against Talihina during the Blue Devils' 26-18 victory. But what if the player is ultimately ruled ineligible next week ahead of the Class A championship game?
“This is the first time anything like this has happened before,” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said. “We're treading through new territory. This is the first time it's happened in the midst of the playoffs.”
What could happen is a firestorm never seen before.
*The Blue Devils could face forfeiting their 11 wins, making them ineligible for the playoffs. In that scenario, Rush Springs could be left wondering what could have been had it gotten the final postseason spot Ringling would have vacated.
*If ruled ineligible, what about the championship game? Does the Blue Devils' opponent automatically become the champion?
*The previous three opponents Ringling beat in the playoffs — Talihina, Morrison and Thomas — now get playoff victories, but nothing to show for it.
Sheakley, though, didn't have an answer Friday afternoon for the solution, though he did express frustration about the situation.
“It's a little bit aggravating that somebody would wait to Week 14 to submit an anonymous letter,” he said. “You know whoever submitted this could have done this in August opposed to the middle of December. That's what's challenging on everybody's part.”