Player ineligibility leads to additional Princeton High forfeits

Superintendent reveals results of audit after varsity football forfeits

Player ineligibility leads to additional Princeton High forfeits
Mike Daniels, Princeton football coach. (WXIX) (Source: wxix-tv)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Princeton City School District officials have decided to forfeited games in three sports after an audit revealed players were ineligible based on Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines.

FOX19 reported Wednesday that Princeton High had forfeited three varsity football games because of eligibility concerns, dropping the team’s 3-1 record to 0-4.

On Thursday, superintendent Tom Burton released a statement announcing an audit into player eligibility within the district.

“After the completion of the audit, we found other student athletes in football and boys soccer that did not meet the eligibility requirements pursuant to Ohio High School Athletic Association rules,” he wrote. “These were also reported to OHSAA, and in accordance with OHSAA rules, we have forfeited each win in both junior varsity football changing our record from 3-1 to 0-4 and boys soccer, changing our record from 5-1-2 to 0-7.”

FOX19 will continue to update this story as more details become available. Burton’s full statement can be read below.

Additional concerns regarding student-athlete eligibility

On the evening of September 16, the District was notified of a potential eligibility issue for one of our varsity football players. On Monday morning, District and athletic department officials met to review the situation and immediately called the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to notify them of our pending investigation.

On Tuesday, we reviewed the student’s transcripts and confirmed he was academically ineligible to play. We reported this to OHSAA and in accordance with OHSAA rules, we have forfeited each win, changing our varsity football record from 3-1, to 0-4 and immediately began conducting an internal audit to verify athletic eligibility for Fall sports.

Throughout the process, district officials met personally with the soccer and football players and coaches, as well as communicated with parents of players via our all call system. We have added additional steps and people to the process of checking eligibility to ensure this situation will never happen again.

It is unfortunate that our hard-working students must face consequences due to a mistake they did not make. We regret how this error impacts our student-athletes, their families, fans, and the entire educational community.

The person who was ultimately responsible for insuring eligibility has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation into the eligibility issues associated with Princeton student athletes. Our parents and students should know that we take this matter very seriously and intend to complete the investigation with that seriousness in mind. However, to ensure the completion of that investigation in a fair and objective manner, we will share further comments when the investigation has been concluded.

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