Guthrie will be one of 16 teams to play in this week’s Class 5A playoffs.
The entire Simek spoke to the board as well as took questions throughout the 4 hour and 33 minute process. Many times throughout the meeting, the board admitted that the family had done no wrong.
However, the first appeal was denied, 10-0, that will keep Simek sidelined and ineligible to play on the gridiron. Later in the evening, the Simek family spoke with the OSSAA board, who then went into executive session, but came back with no action. It is unknown at this time what the family plans to do.
The second appeal was approved by the board to allow Guthrie to play in the playoffs with a 10-0 vote and to keep the perfect 10-0 record in tact. Both appeals had one member abstained from voting.
Guthrie, Class 5A’s top ranked team, was unbeaten throughout the regular season (10-0), but was dropped to 2-8 when the OSSAA ruled last week that senior Clint Simek, who moved to Guthrie with his family from Prague in the spring, was ineligible. The investigation began when the OSSAA received an anonymous letter received by the OSSAA staff in mid October.
Guthrie will play Durant this Saturday, at 2:30, as the OSSAA is expected to sign off on the agreement between the two schools. OSSAA staff member David Jackson stated through mutual agreements, and with OSSAA approval, schools can reschedule the games to Saturday at the latest so that teams can prepare for their upcoming opponent after finding out on short notice of who indeed who they would be playing.
The OSSAA handed down penalties that will immediately take effect: Rafe Watkins suspended for 8 games beginning with the upcoming playoff game(s), but will be allowed to coach throughout the week, Clint Simek will not be allowed to play football, but will be eligible to play other sports after the football season, Guthrie must forfeit all gate proceeds in the (one or two) playoff games and the football team placed on warning for one year.
Several board members mentioned throughout the hearing that this case has been one of the toughest decisions they have ever had to make. The board went into two different executive sessions before coming to their final decisions.