A perfect regular season for the Guthrie BlueJay football team may have come to a crashing halt Thursday afternoon.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has ruled that a current member of the Guthrie football team has a dual residency issue. Guthrie Public Schools will appeal the decision Friday morning.
If upheld, Guthrie, who is currently ranked No. 1 in Class 5A with an unbeaten 9-0 record, will be forced to forfeit eight of their 9 wins this season and thus – would miss the playoffs.
The OSSAA has not officially sent a letter to Guthrie Public Schools informing them the exact violations, but does lean toward a dual residency.
“The OSSAA has made a decision that we disagree with, and we plan to appeal their decision on the forfeit of the games,” Guthrie Superintendent Terry Simpson said in a phone interview with Guthrie Sports Page Thursday evening.
The appeal will be heard by the OSSAA next Wednesday morning at their regular scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m.
The OSSAA received an anonymous letter on October 19th that sparked the investigation of the player’s family living in Guthrie, but having a family member living in the previous home, that is for sale and has been on the market for several months, in another Oklahoma town.
The player’s family that is being questioned moved into the Guthrie school district last spring and was signed off by the player’s former high school.
The violation comes from the OSSAA Rule 8-2b(5), which deals with dual residency.
“For the purposes of this Rule, a bona fide move and change of residence shall mean that the student’s parents (or custodial parent or court appointed guardian with legal custody of the student) have moved out of their prior residence and have established a new, full-time residence outside the public school district or other geographic area in which they previously were residing. If the student’s parents (or custodial parent or court appointed guardian) move to a new residence but do not intend to make it their permanent home, the student will not be eligible at any new school unless complete information is presented at a hearing before the Board of Directors and a ruling has been given that a bona fide change of residence has been made. Factors that may be considered include, but are not limited to, whether the original residence has been closed, disposed of, rented or leased on a long-term agreement, whether the family’s personal property has been sold or moved to the new residence, and whether another family member has been allowed to use the original residence. A student whose family maintains multiple residences in circumvention of the requirements of this Rule shall not be eligible at any new school.”