Academic casualty makes Howard forfeit first seven matches Lions are second team to forfeit this season

April 16, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard High's tennis team has forfeited its first seven matches because of it played with an academically ineligible player.

The Lions are the second Howard County tennis team this season to forfeit matches. Centennial forfeited its first six matches last Friday, also because it played an academically ineligible player.

The March 27 match between Howard and Centennial has become a double forfeit. The violation also wipes out Howard's only victory on the court, a 5-4 decision last Friday against Long Reach.

The county's eligibility policy is the toughest in the Baltimore area. It requires students who want to participate in extracurricular activities or play high school sports to have a 2.0 grade-point average and no failing grades.

The Howard athlete became ineligible because of his grades in the third marking period, which ended in January.

"It's an unfortunate incident, and we're sorry that it happened," said Howard athletic director Vince Parnell, who reported the violation Monday. "We're in a process of reviewing our procedures to try to eliminate what happened here."

Said Howard coach Craig O'Connell: "I will take full responsibility. I'm the coach."

Pub Date: 4/15/97

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