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High School Sues Over Vacated Undefeated Season

Andy Berg
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The Wisconsin High School which saw an undefeated season vacated, as well a playoff ban, over fielding an ineligible player is now suing the state athletic association.

Edgewood High School said Thursday that the player in question, 18-year-old Cameron Fane, be reinstated by the WIAA. The school is also asking filing an emergency temporary restraining so that the school can play in an upcoming playoff game.

Edgewood had previously filed an appeal on the decision with the WIAA, but that was rejected. 

“We recognize that this is an unfortunate situation for all involved, and we share in everyone’s disappointment with the circumstances; however, the WIAA has the responsibility to uphold the integrity of the rules of education-based athletics as established by the member schools,” the WIAA said in a statement denying Edgewood’s appeal, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. “In matters like this, it is important to note that all schools are afforded due process to ensure the member rules are being applied as written.”

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Fane has not recorded any receiving stats in either of Edgewood’s two postseason wins after posting 39 receptions for 662 yards and nine touchdowns through nine regular-season games. He also ran 25 times for 279 yards and four TDs. 

The judge presiding over the matter has agreed to hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. Friday in hopes that it will be able to continue to compete in the state playoffs.

For its part, the WIAA says that Edgewood received one type of eligibility waiver for Fane but failed to seek the type of waiver that would have extended Fane’s eligibility beyond four years.

“Edgewood has unclean hands, and actions have consequences,” the WIAA’s response says. “WIAA rules and equity require that the student-athletes that Edgewood displaced by using an ineligible player be restored to tournament play in their place.” 

Fane had started high school at Madison West in 2017 but eventually transferred to a school in Arlington Texas in the spring of 2018 because his father and stepmother lived there. Fane’s grades suffered as a result of the move, and he was unhappy at Juan Seguin High school in Arlington, Texas.

When Fane turned 18 he returned to Madison and enrolled at Edgewood in its 2022 graduating class as a second-semester junior. Fane was registered into his sixth semester of high school. 

Per WIAA rules, a student who transfers after the student’s sixth consecutive semester following entry into ninth grade is ineligible for athletic competition for one calendar year. However, if the transfer is necessitated by the student’s parents relocating. However, the residence and transfer requirement can be waived under extenuating circumstances, which the WIAA eventually granted, allowing Fane to play sports in the spring semester of the 2020-21 school year.

The WIAA says that Edgewood misled the association, saying that Fane had completed eight semesters of high school at the end of the 2020-21 school year, which used up his high school eligibility under WIAA rules.

While the WIAA can grant a fifth year of eligibility, Edgewood did not apply for that waiver.

“After the student-athlete completed eight consecutive semesters, Edgewood was well aware of the fact that a waiver from the eight consecutive semester limit was required if they intended to play him further,” the WIAA’s response says.

“Edgewood is now trying to dress up the previously approved transfer waiver as a fifth-year eligibility waiver,” though the two waivers have different forms and procedures. “Edgewood is well aware of this and attempted to mislead the WIAA in applying for the transfer waiver in hopes of using it as a fifth-year waiver if and when they were called out.”

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