Goose Creek Forfeits Season, Disqualified From Playoffs

Press conference Tuesday regarding next step for school.

Release, Berkeley County School District:

MONCKS CORNER, SC -- The Goose Creek Gators lost their second appeal on Monday when the South Carolina High School League voted 14-0 to uphold the league constitution and lost 2-12 in a mercy vote to reinstate the team to the playoffs.

The decision ends a week long effort by Principal Jimmy Huskey and Coach Chuck Reedy to uphold their obligation to students while following the league's constitutional rules.  Last week, the school self-reported a potential student eligibility conflict to the league.  The league took swift and immediate action to penalize the team through forfeiture of regular season games, thus ending a bid for the state championship.  At an appeal hearing on Wednesday, November 14, the league upheld its constitution by a 9-2 vote, and refused to allow a hardship circumstance to be ratified by 10-1.

The team, number one in the state and number 11 in the nation (ranked by USAToday), was disappointed by the appeal outcome.  The district sought legal action on Thursday, November 15 through the Joye Law Firm, who provided legal services at no cost to the district.  The district appealed to South Carolina Ninth Circuit, Judge Roger Young presiding, who granted a temporary restraining order on Friday, November 16.  The TRO allowed Goose Creek to compete in Friday's game against Bluffton where the team won 35-25.  The judge also instructed the SCHSL that they must hold a second appeal meeting in public to rehear the case on or before Monday, November 19 at 5 p.m.

The student transcript in question originally showed three years of high school completed by the student prior to joining the Goose Creek football squad in August 2012.  When the student applied for winter sports on November 12, an updated transcript showed that the student may have also attended a fourth year of school.  

The student, who is a special needs student, did not physically attend high school prior to February 2010.  The league's rules state that an eligible student must not be enrolled for more than eight semesters.  The student did matriculate but did not physically attend Woodmont High School his freshman year while enrolled at the Generations Group Home, a home for abused boys.

"We are so appreciative of the Goose Creek community and their support for this team and the season," Principal Jimmy Huskey said.  "We are disappointed for our players and for our community."

Stephen November 20, 2012 at 01:46 AM
One has to wonder the gravity of the decision made by the SCHSL and what it shows the youth of our state who live by the standards of honesty and integrity. It seems the SCHSL lives by different standards.
Kevin McField November 20, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I guess (Uncle) Jerome Singleton wants to give the region VII trophy to his cousins over in Mt. Pleasant himself. OHH isn't that where he is from. No wonder he fought so hard to get the Creek out of the playoffs. The League and the rules need to be changed. That't just wrong.
Gator fan 30+ years November 20, 2012 at 03:57 AM
So sad that political suits who have a god complex can't see past their screwed on noses to do the RIGHT THING but instead punish 70 kids that did nothing wrong! It was their people that messed up the paperwork & caused all this bull. They weren't even listening today just trying to find a way to make themselves look good. Well it didn't work.
Cheryl Steele November 21, 2012 at 03:31 AM
If Goose Creek has to forfeit there season, what about the schools that we played.. Does that now change their record? How absurd is this penalty. The board even acknowledged that the clerical error was 5 years old.. So why did they rule the way they did.. Really confused..
Lynda Wright November 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The Fairlady 7:51 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012 My hope and prayer is that at least one of those board members would find it in their heart to come forth and let the world know why they ruled so harshly against the school. They appear to have hearts of stone that not even an innocent child can touch. That's bad. These football players played hard to get where they are. I'm still hurt over this. Remember: All things work together for good for them who love the Lord. We know God can make a way out of no way. If he chooses not to do so at this time, we will always be commended because we did the right thing, the right way, to the right people, for the right people, and still got treated wrong.


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