Glenelg to forfeit baseball game

April 17, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Glenelg's defending state champion baseball team must forfeit its game against Liberty because one of its players cut a class the day of the game.

Although the forfeiture penalty handed down by the Violations and Infractions Committee set a precedent, Glenelg has decided not to appeal.

The school had until 4 p.m. yesterday to appeal the decision, which becomes official today.

"If we had been under the old system for playoffs where points were an issue, we might have appealed it. But it doesn't matter other than that some people are upset by the ruling," Glenelg athletic director Mike Williams said. "We recommended to the NTC committee that the only penalty be that the player sit out a game, which he had already done by the time the committee met."

The March 25 game played at Liberty was suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning with Glenelg leading, 16-14. It was scheduled to be completed tomorrow.

The truant player, first baseman Ryan Riel, went 0-for-4 in the game, and was forced by Glenelg's administration to sit out the following game, a 3-2 loss to Centennial.

"The kids are really bummed out about it," Glenelg coach Ed Ashwell said. "They work hard to win these games, and then to have it taken away like this is not right. I think the committee was wrong in its final decision. I think it's wrong that we're not appealing it."

No one on the committee, which consisted of Wilde Lake principal Bonnie Daniel, Atholton athletic director Don Van Deusen and Hammond baseball coach Bob Maxey, is allowed to comment on the case.

Ashwell said he did not learn of the ruling until Monday, even though Williams said the committee made its decision April 3, after Glenelg reported the infraction March 28.

In fact, Ashwell said last week that his team wasn't going to have to forfeit, because the cut was being handled in-house and the player was made to sit out a game.

Williams said the delay in telling Ashwell was because of spring break, and because a decision had not been made on whether to appeal.

This committee ruling departs significantly from a similar case that happened six years ago in which a Hammond basketball player, Al Moraz, cut a class and then played a game that night.

That committee decided not to punish the team, opting instead to make Moraz sit out one game.

The rule against playing after cutting a class is a county rule, not a state rule.

However, Williams said he believed the current committee was following the guidelines in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's handbook regarding penalties for state violations. The first penalty is to forfeit all games in which the violation occurred.

Williams thinks this ruling will create monitoring problems.

"The three big questions are monitoring, integrity and equity," he said.

Williams said there are four or five ways to miss the fact that a player has cut a class that day.

"And if you do find out, then an administrator, not the athletic director or coach, is the only one who can handle a disciplinary referral."

Williams said that two team buses had to be held up Monday at Glenelg because a tennis player and a baseball player were suspected of having cut a class.

"All of our administrators were in a guidance meeting, and we had to interrupt the meeting so a decision could be made."

Williams said not all schools would have the integrity to report their own infraction the way Glenelg did.

He also wondered about the equity of making Glenelg forfeit when six years ago Hammond did not have to.

"But I'm not condemning the committee," Williams said. "They followed their consciences and did what they thought they had to do."

Pub Date: 4/17/96

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