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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)
Clinton High School's football program has been penalized by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association for allowing a student who was not enrolled at Clinton to participate in a spring scrimmage and practice with the team.
The violation was self-reported by Clinton shortly after its scrimmage against Maryville on April 13.
"As soon as I figured it out, I reported it to TSSAA," Clinton athletic director Brad Collette said. "It's on us. There is nobody to blame but ourselves."
The Dragons will impose a week with no practice from August 7 to 11 and reduce the number of football scrimmages from four to two.
The player moved into the Clinton's zone and was accepted into the school for the 2017-18 school year, but he decided to finish the school year at Anderson County.
Participating on the team while not being enrolled at the school violates TSSAA recruiting rules, meaning the player has been ruled ineligible to participate at Clinton for a minimum of one school year as part of the penalty. The administration will be given the opportunity to address the TSSAA Board of Control and ask for reinstatement upon request.
"I thought the penalty (against our program) was fair," Collette said. "It was a mistake on our part. It's not the TSSAA's fault. It's on us. The thing that concerns me the most is the (penalty against) the student-athlete - I hate it for him.
"The kid has never played football and doesn't have an athletic record. He just wanted to play football his senior year and our mistake has caused him to be punished."
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