Written by Corbett Smith
Roosevelt out of 3A playoffs after discovery of ineligible player
Roosevelt, the 11-3A runner-up in the Class 3A Division II playoffs, discovered Monday it had used an ineligible football player during district play and has forfeited its lone district win, a 27-26 victory over Wilmer-Hutchins on Oct. 19.
With the forfeit, Wilmer-Hutchins (5-4) will be the district’s final playoff representative. It will play Melissa in the first round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Richardson’s Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
Roosevelt administrators unearthed Monday morning that the school had used a player who, despite living in the school’s attendance zone, was not staying with his parents. Roosevelt athletic coordinator John Simon and football coach Wayne Ingram did a home visit, and found the player was living with his godparents — which is against UIL’s residency regulations.
“There was some speculation, some rumors, that came out Thursday or Friday about a student,” Simon said. “We did an in-depth investigation … and self-reported it to the district.”
Dallas ISD athletic director Jeff Johnson and assistant athletic director Clint Roddy informed Wilmer-Hutchins coach Elzie Barnett that his team was in the playoffs, and Melissa coach Seth Stinton that his team’s playoff opponent had changed.
Both Barnett and Stinton said the news had them scrambling to adjust.
Barnett said he is worried he will lose several players to other sports or activities, including basketball. Wilmer-Hutchins’ basketball team starts its season Tuesday against Spruce.
“It’s going to be tough,” Barnett said. “Some of the guys just aren’t going to come back. I’m still frustrated about the whole thing.”
Stinton said he was forced to scrap a weekend’s worth of preparation after watching film and drawing up a game plan for Roosevelt on Saturday and Sunday.
“It kind of upsets you, but what can you do?” Stinton said. “We’ll just have to do the best we can.”
With the forfeit, all three eligible football teams from 11-3A are in the playoffs. Prime Prep, the district’s fifth team, pulled out of its varsity football schedule in August after being unable to field a team with enough transfers from the charter school’s home zone.
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