WPIAL makes eligibility rulings

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The WPIAL approved the transfer of a girls basketball player, but denied a request from a top wrestler for an extra year of eligibility.

The WPIAL declared Lexi Griggs eligible to play at Vincentian after transferring from Hampton. Griggs was Hampton’s leading scorer last season as a sophomore at 12 points a game, and Hampton would not sign off on her transfer, claiming athletic intent might be involved. But after a hearing Tuesday, the WPIAL declared Griggs eligible. Vincentian has won three consecutive WPIAL Class A titles and last year won a PIAA title.

Meanwhile, Southmoreland wrestler Austin Griffiths was denied a request for an extra year of eligibility. Griffiths placed in the top five of the PIAA tournament twice in the past five years. The WPIAL ruled Griffiths ineligible based on the stance that he already has used up the allotted eight semesters of eligibility in high school. Griffiths attended Southmoreland in seventh and eighth grade, but decided to enroll at a cyber school in ninth grade.

WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said Griffiths was enrolled at the cyber school until February of his ninth-grade year, when he decided to drop out and enroll as an eighth-grader at Geibel Catholic junior high school.

Griffiths then enrolled as a ninth-grader again at Southmoreland at the start of the 2011-12 school year. By starting ninth grade at the cyber school, the WPIAL ruled that Griffiths’ “eligibility clock” started. Under PIAA rules, once a student starts ninth grade, he has four years of eligibility.

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