Glenelg player banned for school year

Howard committee rules on ineligible student

school not disciplined

High Schools

February 03, 2005|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The teams on which he played will not be forced to forfeit any games, but a three-sport Glenelg athlete living in Baltimore County and falsely claiming a Howard County address has been barred from participating in any extracurricular activities for the remainder of the 2004-2005 school year.

That was the precedent-setting decision of the three-member Howard County Rules and Infractions Committee delivered yesterday.

The committee said in a news release: "While the parents and student were aware that they did not occupy the [Howard County] home, the school had no way of knowing that the child was not sleeping at the residence. Therefore, penalties against the school and coach are inappropriate."

In the past, such out-of-district violations were treated by Howard County as state infractions, and the teams involved forfeited all games in which the ineligible student participated and the coaches usually received letters of censure.

Wilde Lake's football team forfeited five victories from its 2003 season last February.

"You can't look at what was done in the past," said Carol Satterwhite, the acting coordinator of athletics while Howard County seeks a permanent replacement for former coordinator Don Disney. "Every case is an individual case."

Steve Drummond, the school system's security coordinator, said the family in question was in the process of building a home in the Glenelg school district and moved into the home last weekend, but did not previously occupy the house and might be subject to paying a past tuition fee for three children. Two of the children are in elementary school.

The Glenelg athlete is a sophomore who played in every football game the past two seasons and also competed in indoor and outdoor track. Glenelg could have forfeited 17 victories and a county championship in football, as well as two county indoor track titles. He will be eligible to play football next fall.

The rules and infractions committee consisted of Wilde Lake football coach Doug DuVall, River Hill athletic director Brian Van Deusen and Reservoir principal Adrian Kaufman.

"It's precedent-setting, but it's the right thing to do," said DuVall. "There was no state rule violated, and the previous violations never should have gone to the state. Now, a child can be punished locally. Hopefully we've taken a huge step forward with this decision."

Ned Sparks, the executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association that governs sports, said yesterday that he had not received any written information about the case.

"We don't have an investigative force and rely on the local system's integrity. In effect, it is their superintendent saying there's no violation, and we would accept that. But they can't say the kid was ineligible and not forfeit."

He said he has no plans to question Howard County's decision.

DuVall said that the student was officially registered at Glenelg as state regulations require, and the fact that he was not living in the Glenelg school district was a county violation - not a state one.

As such, the county apparently has the right to impose its penalty without even notifying the state.

Satterwhite said she has no plans to submit any written information to the state.

"We're pleased with the result," said Glenelg athletic director Mike Williams. "We felt no MPSSAA rule had been violated, and no county or state athletic policy was violated. There were no mistakes of omission or commission on Glenelg's part."

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