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SPRINGFIELD - The Ohio High School Athletic Association has ruled that the football player who was deemed ineligible last season at Springfield Shawnee High School also is ineligible for the first five games of the 2014 season.
The OHSAA on Thursday announced the penalty following its Board of Directors monthly meeting at its headquarters in Columbus. Shawnee officials were previously informed by the OHSAA that the school would have to forfeit the first five games of this past season because of the individual's participation in football.
Neither the OHSAA nor Shawnee administration would identify the player. Shawnee Athletic Director Craig Isaac said the student no longer is enrolled in the Clark-Shawnee Local School District.
School officials said they were alerted to a suspected falsified residency in November after the Braves' season ended. Administration contacted the OHSAA and launched an internal investigation that was "made with outside sources for independent corroboration," the school district reported in a press release.
Shawnee's 10-2 season is now recorded as 5-7. The five teams Shawnee beat in Weeks 1-5 all are now forfeit winners of those matchups.
Shawnee's forfeitures and the ineligibility of the former player for the first half of next season were one of seven such bylaw violations the OHSAA addressed in their January meeting. Only one case didn't result in forfeitures.
Students previously found to have violated transfer or residency OHSAA bylaws were suspended for an entire school year, all sports. Since June of last year, individual penalties are an automatic first half of the coming school year should that student have remaining eligibility.
Also, the half-season suspension is only for a sport that the penalized student participated in.
Attorneys advised the OHSAA the more lenient half-season ban would cut down on the times the OHSAA might be challenged in court.
Commissioner Roxanne Price said the OHSAA was advised that a one-year suspension "caused irreparable harm (to a student). For us, they miss every season (for one year). ... That was somewhat draconian. We think our membership can live with (a half-season penalty) a lot better. ... We think it helps keep us out of court."
Catholic Central (1-9 adjusted record), Troy (4-6), Carroll (3-7), Northwestern (7-3) and Greenon (2-8) all will be awarded 1-0 forfeit wins in their football games against Shawnee last season. None of those teams was in playoff contention.
Contact this reporter at 937-225-2381 or email Marc.Pendleton@cox inc.com. Twitter: @MarcPendleton