MPSSAA Says New Town Football Forfeit 'Very Rare'

New Town played all season with an ineligible player, so the team has been forced to vacate all 10 of its wins.

An ineligible student athlete was allowed to play football all season at New Town High School in an administrative gaffe committed by school officials that is "very, very rare," the MPSSAA's executive director said.

The team -- one in which the Titans went 10-1 -- and will not participate in the MPSSAA Class 1A North Final. New Town last week and was slated to play Overlea Friday.

All of that has been wiped away because a player on the New Town roster had exhausted all of his years of high school sports eligibility, said Ned Sparks, executive director of the state's governing body for high school athletics.

There is no appeals process, Sparks said. The verdict has been delivered verbally, but official paperwork is still being drawn up.

"It is kind of a strange set of circumstances," he said. "Apparently, for whatever reason, no one thought to check [earlier in the season]."

Sparks said the MPSSAA was notified about the eligibility issue by Baltimore County Public Schools. It is the responsibility of individual schools to monitor the elibility of their athletes, Sparks said.

He was especially puzzled because the student athlete in question had exhausted his elibility at another local school. Sparks called allowing an ineligible athlete to play all season "very, very rare."

"This is a hard one, because it's not like the youngster moved in from Montana or something and didn’t have any records," he said. "He played in a school [Milford Mill] that wasn’t that far away."

Parents have been invited about the situation in the school library Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

CaSandra Reynolds November 16, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Wow. Another mindless decision made by Baltimore County officials. It doesn't surprise me. I wonder what the outcome would have been if NewTown was predominantly Caucausion?? Hmmm?
J. Gibbs November 16, 2011 at 05:20 PM
CaSandra Reynolds, Caucausion huh? Hmm? Just so you know Westminister had to forfeit games this season due to the fact that a player was deemed ineligible to play, and yes the are roughly 90% caucasion...Even after the coach went to the AD who went to the Athletics Supervisor and said that it was alright for the player to play in a JV game after he played in 1 varsity series 6 days prior. He was caucasion just so you know. Gets really old when people start throwing race into the picture when it does not apply, really old. Blame whoever you want, but it is the responsibility of the parents to know the rules, to convey those rules to their children and ultimately the responsibility of the school to adhere to the rules of the mpssaa. The are put in place for a reason. But there are some of those that break them and do not take responsibility and accept the consequences...Always someone else fault huh CaSandra?
Timmom November 16, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Lexa Newman November 17, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Something that we as a people are going to realize one day, is that everything we do has a consequence, good or bad. A rule was broken for someone's failure to pay attention to the details. Rules exist for a reason, and the only way we as a people learn from situations like this is when the rules are enforced. I imagine the players are devastated, but think about the message they would get if the decision was overturned because of public outcry . . . "do the wrong thing, and as long as the consequences annoy enough people, you won't be held accountable." I am NOT saying that the football team as a student group did anything wrong, but their paying the price for negligence in record-keeping or whatever it was, might just send the message that better attention to details like this must be paid! Next year. . . .
kevin November 18, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Give me a break he played all season,can't they count ? Every high school child in America has the same requirements ,there are exceptions for sickness etc but they are the same for everyone.Are you telling me every player didn't know that kid was even possibly ineligible? No team even t-ball doesn't know everything about every player by the end of the season.If the coaches knew and instructed the team to be quiet there should be terminations.If I'm totally wrong and I could be and usually am then it is on the player and his family and I'm sorry forall those innocent.


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