If it’s true, make it right

Published 4:14 pm Tuesday, October 7, 2014

From Staff Reports
Last week wasn’t the best week for coaches and players on Montevallo High School’s varsity football team. And from accounts from those associated with the program, the misfortune came as no fault of their own.
The school recently was notified by the Alabama High School Athletic Association its football team would have to forfeit three wins as the result of an eligibility infraction. As a result of the AHSAA sanctions, the school was required to forfeit three of its four wins – games in which the allegedly ineligible player participated.
According to a release distributed by the school on Oct. 1, Montevallo “recently self-reported to the AHSAA that an academically ineligible player had played in three varsity football contests. The player was initially deemed eligible in the AHSAA eligibility database in August.” The release stated that the school immediately pulled the player upon discovering his eligibility status.
According to the school, MHS discovered the player’s status with the AHSAA had changed from eligible to ineligible, prompting the football team to immediately pull the player from competition.
However, through talking with the AHSAA, “it was determined that the status change unknowingly occurred approximately two weeks prior to the school’s discovery, which resulted in the school’s decision to play the student-athlete in three contests,” according to the school.
While talking with sports editor Drew Granthum on Oct. 1, Montevallo High Principal Dr. Wesley Hester said the confusion originated from a pair of computer programs: One used by the school to report grades and another used by the AHSAA to determine player ineligibility.
According to Hester, the two systems had trouble communicating at the beginning of the year, resulting in a delay in MHS discovering the player was ineligible.
“He was eligible in August… in the database.,” Hester said.
Calls to the AHSAA for comment on the matter were referred to the school.
If the issue did arise from computer program communication problems, and if the school acted in good faith throughout the process, these kids don’t deserve those forfeitures.
They deserve to have this situation made right.