RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has clarified its ruling that the George Wythe High School basketball team would have to forfeit its regional championship title due to an academically ineligible player.
The trouble stems from a miscommunication between officials at Wythe and the VHSL. The player in question was ineligible for the first semester of the school year, but regained his academic standing for the second semester.
"The games he played for the JV in the first semester must be forfeited since he was ineligible; he was eligible to play for the JV and the varsity in the second semester because he passed his first semester classes" explained VHSL spokesman Mike McCall. "It’s my understanding that he was called up for the post-season only and did not play any varsity regular season games in the second semester."
This allows Wythe to keep their 3A South regional title. The JV squad will have to forfeit 17 games in which the player appeared while ineligible.
"The district has initiated an investigation and, upon completion, will take appropriate actions based on the findings," Richmond Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden said. "School officials plan to meet with the players and parents to provide further details concerning this matter."
Wythe must pay a $100 fine.
"The district is committed to upholding the policies set forth by VHSL and commends school administration for appropriately self-reporting the matter," Dr. Bedden said. "Moreover, while these findings are an unfortunate outcome for an otherwise exceptional season, the district reiterates its support and appreciation for these student-athletes and their families. "
After winning the regional title in March, Wythe lost to John Marshall High School in the state finals.