Prep football: Elkins to forfeit up to seven wins
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission has launched an inquiry that Gary Ray said Wednesday will result in numerous forfeits by the Elkins High School football team.
"I hate when this happens. We were informed that there was a (ineligible) player there. Right now, there is full cooperation between the school and this office and he has, in fact, been found to be ineligible," Ray said.
"I really would like to commend Elkins High School for the way they've agreed to work with us on this," he said.
Ray, the Executive Director of the SSAC, did not name the player, nor did he elaborate on the reason the player was ineligible, as the case is still ongoing. He also noted that the Tigers will be forced to forfeit any games in which the player participated.
That number has still to be determined, Ray said.
"We're still not sure if he played in all their games, but any he did play in will be forfeited," he said. "From what I know so far, it appears he played in most of them."
Elkins is 7-2 and ranked eighth in the SSAC's Class AAA playoff ratings. The top 16 teams in each class qualify for the playoffs, which begin Nov. 9. The top eight teams in the rankings earn the right to host first-round playoff games.
The SSAC decision was first reported by the (Elkins) InterMountain on Tuesday. The report stated that a neighboring county filed a complaint with Ray's office, a claim that Ray rejected.
"Absolutely not," he said. "We received a letter of inquiry concerning the matter from an individual. We are very careful with these things, and only do an inquiry when we receive written documentation from someone.
"I do not know who the person works for. They are from a county that borders Randolph County, but it wasn't made from an official capacity like a coach or principal of another school or anything of that nature."
Elkins has wins against Oak Hill, Hampshire, Buckhannon-Upshur, Preston, Fairmont Senior, Philip Barbour and East Fairmont. Any school that lost to the Tigers stands to gain 12 base points toward the SSAC's playoff rating formula for the forfeit. Of those teams, Oak Hill (5-3, No. 18) and Hampshire (5-3, No. 20) are the only ones ranked in the Class AAA top 20.
Class AA opponents Fairmont Senior (4-4, No. 19) and Philip Barbour (5-4, No. 14) are in the playoff hunt in their division.
Of those four schools, only Philip Barbour is in a county that neighbors Randolph County. Elkins beat the Colts 35-25 on Oct. 4.
Ray said that the playoff rankings will be adjusted once the number of forfeits is finalized, but that he does not expect the process to last much longer. He added that based upon Elkins High's cooperation, he does not expect an appeal to the SSAC's final decision.
"The ratings will be adjusted by Tuesday," he said.