Goose Creek school officials argue case in team's disqualification

Goose Creek school officials to appeal team disqualification
Supporters show up in Columbia during a closed door meeting.
Supporters show up in Columbia during a closed door meeting.
Parents and students at Goose Creek high on Wednesday evening waiting for word on the appeal.
Parents and students at Goose Creek high on Wednesday evening waiting for word on the appeal.

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek High School officials are in Columbia hoping to reverse a ruling that disqualified the school's defending champs from the playoffs.

A South Carolina High School League panel is currently in a closed door meeting hearing an appeal by school officials who include Coach Chuck Reedy.

The school's football team was disqualified from the South Carolina football playoffs. Bruce Hulion, Commissioner of SC Football Coaches Association and an executive with the SCHSL, said Goose Creek is being disqualified for using an ineligible player.

School officials say the student in question is a transfer student. The transcript provided the by student's previous school was incomplete when the player signed up for football.

It was not until the student was being registered for winter sports that an updated transcript was used and an error was found, officials say.

According to Amy Kovach, Director of Communication for Berkeley County School District, Goose Creek officials self-reported the incident to the SCHSL after uncovering a clerical error. Kovach would not go into detail as to what the error was.

Goose Creek, the defending 4A Division II state champions, were set to play Bluffton Friday, Nov. 16 in the playoffs.

Hulion says a player can be deemed ineligible by being too old, not residing in the school district, undergoing an improper transfer, among others.

Later on Tuesday, the school released the following statement:

Today, administrators of the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) determined that Goose Creek High School (GCHS) violated League guidelines and therefore will be ineligible to compete in the playoff game scheduled for Friday, November 16.

The school and Berkeley County School District will be appealing to the SCHSL's executive committee for an exception due to extraordinary conditions. The appeal has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 5:30 pm in Columbia, SC.

GCHS athletes were informed today. The League has notified Conway High School, whom Goose Creek defeated on Friday, November 9, that it will be advancing to the playoffs.

To protect the integrity of that appeals process, the school and district are unable to provide additional details regarding the alleged violation at this time.

The Gators finished the 2012 regular season undefeated, going 11-0. They opened the 2012 playoffs with a decisive 48-7 win over Conway on Nov. 9.

The Gators are the 13th-best high school team in the United States, according to the writers at MaxPreps, a site.

According to Bluffton Head Coach Ken Cribb, if the disqualification sticks, his team will be at a disadvantage. Bluffton has been preparing this week for Goose Creek, but would have to get ready to play Conway on short notice.

A number of Goose Creek football players took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon after news broke of the disqualification:

Linebacker Jalen Stevens (@JStevens_9) tweeted out: Not my senior year man... Where did this come from you can't take this from me and my boys man...We play by the rules...

Standout wide receiver Tramel Terry (@TeamTDterry_GC) tweeted: Wow I am hurting bruh it cant end like this we worked so hard to get to were we at.

Running back Rashard Alston (@shadxavier5) tweeted: I'm over here bouta cry bruh. Man they can do this to us we work to (expletive) hard for this and we play by the rules what did we do wrong?

Hulion says another South Carolina high school, Lower Richland, was disqualified last Thursday because of an ineligible player.

In the Upstate, Byrnes High School had to forfeit a regular season game with Dorman and pay a fine for dressing an ineligible player.

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