The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association has investigated two penalties concerning the Guthrie High School football team with the result of forfeiting eight games this season for the top-ranked team in 5A.
The OSSAA ruled that a current member of the Guthrie football team has a dual residency issue.
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.
During the interview, Sheakley was preparing to send the official letter from the OSSAA to Guthrie Public Schools with their findings and penalties.
“We had an investigation and at the conclusion of the investigation it was determined that we have a young man (student athlete) from Guthrie, whose family was not in compliance with our residence rule (8-2-5),” Sheakley said.
The OSSAA received an anonymous letter on October 19th that sparked the investigation of a 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.
Sheakley had “no comment” on the specifics of the family’s 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 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.
“Due to the non compliance, he (the Guthrie player) has participated in eight football games as an ineligible athlete and the penalty for participation as an ineligible athlete is forfeiture of contests,” Sheakley said.
When asked about the dual residency violation and other particulars in the case Sheakley was unable to comment.
“This is up for appeal so I can not publicly comment on the specifics other than our investigation determined that the family was not in compliance,” Sheakley said. “The school is asking that the penalty be over turned for both the young man (participation) and for the school (forfeiture of wins).”
The Board of Directors will hear the appeal Wednesday morning at 9:00 inside the OSSAA building. The board consists of 14 members, but Simpson, who is the NW Quadrant, Division I member will not be allowed to vote. Guthrie would need to receive seven votes to over turn the decision(s). If a tie were to occur in the voting it would result in a status quo and the penalties would remain in place.
Before the OSSAA ruling, Guthrie was 9-0 and just won the district title for the third time in the past five seasons.