A Washington High School football player dropped his court case to restore his eligibility, but Washington still might have to forfeit a game.
PIAA and WPIAL officials received word Monday that Zach Blystone, a junior lineman at Washington, no longer will pursue a case that could have overturned PIAA and WPIAL eligibility rulings and allowed him to play. Blystone transferred from Charleroi to Washington for this school year, but the PIAA and WPIAL ruled him ineligible, claiming he transferred for athletic intent, which is against league rules. Both organizations ruled him ineligible twice after a board hearing and appeal hearings.
Blystone and his family took his case to court and Washington County Court of Common Pleas Judge John F. DiSalle issued a preliminary injunction Oct. 4 that allowed Blystone to play against Brownsville later that night. DiSalle was to have another hearing today with Blystone and all parties involved to decide whether to make the injunction permanent. But the PIAA was informed Monday that the Blystones dropped the case.
Despite the preliminary injunction, the PIAA had informed Washington that it would have to forfeit any games Blystone played if the PIAA eventually won the court case. Washington played Blystone against Brownsville anyway and was going to play him again Friday against Mount Pleasant. But the school decided Friday afternoon that Blystone would not play until his case was resolved in court.
Now the WPIAL must decide whether or not Washington must forfeit the victory against Brownsville. WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said the league's executive committee will meet today and decide on the forfeit.
Even if Washington forfeits, the loss likely won't affect the Little Prexies' playoff standing.
They are 6-1 and, forfeit or not, Washington likely will finish in second place in the WPIAL Class AA Interstate Conference, qualify for the playoffs and get a first-round home game.
For more on high school sports, go to Varsity Blog at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh. First Published October 14, 2013 8:00 PM