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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)


The Marietta (Ga.) High School football team led by former Oscar Smith coach Richard Morgan this week was ordered to forfeit all eight of its victories during the 2017 season for using two ineligible players, according to a report by the Marietta Daily Journal.

Morgan was not implicated in the investigation, and the Georgia High School Association did not name him in reporting its findings.

Days before the sanctions became public, longtime Marietta athletic director Paul Hall stepped down to take a teaching position at Marietta Middle School. And Kelly Hastings, Hall's assistant and the school's eligibility coordinator, told investigators that she filled out the two students' eligibility forms and made a clerical error, according to the paper.

The penalty, which included a $1,500 fine and the team being placed on "severe warning status," was handed down Monday - less than a week after The Pilot reported that Morgan's team this preseason has landed in some national rankings.

The GHSA found that Marietta had two ineligible players last season - two starters who did not live in the school's attendance zone. Eligibility forms - completed by Hastings - stated the two players had mothers who were employed at the school, making them eligible to play there.

"We concluded that there were two students for whom GHSA eligibility forms were incorrectly completed by the Marietta High School Athletic Office," a statement from the school district read. "In each situation, the student in question is a child of a teacher at a Marietta City Schools elementary school and attended MHS through a district policy that permits children of employees to attend an MCS school. It was determined that one student legitimately moved into the Marietta attendance zone at the time of enrollment and later moved outside the MCS attendance zone; the other student never established residency in the MCS attendance zone."

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July 28, 2018


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