WPIAL orders six forfeits for Washington High football team for use of ineligible player
October 22, 2013 8:21 PM
Quorteze Levy carries the ball for Washington in an Aug. 30 game against Greensburg Central Catholic.
By Mike White / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The WPIAL ruled the Washington High School football team will have to forfeit six games for the use of an ineligible player who was in his fifth year of high school.
The case might not be closed because the school can appeal its case to the PIAA.
The WPIAL informed Washington that it must forfeit all six games that senior receiver-defensive back Quorteze Levy played in this season.
The forfeits would knock Washington out of the WPIAL playoffs. The Little Prexies had a 7-1 record before the forfeits.
Levy attended ninth grade at a school in Michigan and then transferred to Washington, where he repeated ninth grade. Under PIAA and WPIAL rules, a student gets only four years (eight semesters) to compete in athletics.
WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said he expected Washington to appeal to the PIAA.
There is a chance the PIAA could rule that Washington does not have to forfeit. The appeal would be heard by the PIAA within the next few days.
Washington's final regular-season game is Friday and the WPIAL will meet Monday to decide playoff pairings and seedings.
Washington turned itself in Friday to the WPIAL after finding out Levy was in his fifth year. The WPIAL board of control had a hearing with Levy and Washington school officials Monday.
Washington appealed to the WPIAL for a hardship waiver because Levy did not play sports in ninth grade at the Michigan school.
The WPIAL granted the waiver to Washington, which makes Levy eligible to play in any sports for the rest of the school year. The waiver, however, is only retroactive to when Washington applied and not to the date of enrollment.
"[Levy] is eligible from here on out, but the rule states we cannot make the waiver retroactive to when he enrolled at Washington," O'Malley said. "He was ineligible until the waiver was granted and the rule clearly states that the penalty for using an ineligible player is forfeiture. This was a hard decision by our board because we feel bad, but we can't emotionally make a decision. What the board members were elected to do is enforce rules as they are written. Emotionally, they can't become happened. They have to look at what happened and what the rule says."
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