The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that the Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown girls soccer team must forfeit its 2009 Division II state championship – and any other victory in which an ineligible student-athlete participated – because of a violation of Transfer Bylaw 4-7-2.
The OHSAA does not release the name(s) of individual student-athlete(s) involved.
Bexley will officially be listed as the 2009 Division II girls soccer state champion.
OHSAA Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., has informed the school that a student-athlete from Hathaway Brown was in violation of Bylaw 4-7-2 when she transferred to another school during the second semester of the 2008-09 school year and then transferred back to Hathaway Brown at the start of the 2009-10 school year. Because the student-athlete did not meet one of the exceptions to the OHSAA transfer regulation, she should have been ineligible for interscholastic participation for one year from the date of her return to Hathaway Brown.In accordance with Bylaw 10-2-1, Forfeitures, any interscholastic contests in which the ineligible student-athlete participated during the 2009 season shall be forfeited.
“Once it was confirmed a violation occurred, the bylaws are specific that if a student-athlete doesn’t meet an exception, there is a one-year period of ineligibility,” Ross said. “Neither the OHSAA Board of Directors nor I have the authority to waive bylaws, which have been put in place by all of our member schools.”
The OHSAA’s constitution and bylaws can be found online by clicking on the ‘About the OHSAA’ tab at www.ohsaa.org.
“The foundation of the OHSAA is based on the integrity of its members, and I would like to thank the Hathaway Brown administrators and coaches for their cooperation,” Ross said. “I extend my sympathy to the players, coaches and fans within the Hathaway Brown community who are disappointed because of this, but our member schools have adopted the Bylaws and they clearly address this situation.”
Bill Christ, Hathaway Brown Head of School, issued the following statement Wednesday.
“We are simply heartbroken over this decision because of the impact it will have on our students,” Christ said. “We respectfully disagree with OHSAA’s interpretation of the relevant bylaw and feel that the punishment is particularly harsh given the circumstances. We certainly believe our actions were in full compliance with the letter and, as importantly, the spirit of the OHSAA transfer bylaws. We are considering our options for an appeal.”