Pinecrest High School along with Moore County Schools has launched an investigation into the situation that led to the school to forfeit eight wins and miss the playoffs after a paperwork error.
Principal Bob Christina made the announcement at press conference held today in the school’s cafeteria.
“I have asked the superintendent for an independent review,” Christina said. “The system we have is flawed.”
Tharrington Smith LLP, the law firm that represents the Board of Education, will conduct the investigation, Christina said. The length of the investigation and its cost is unknown.
Friday the school learned that it would be stripped of eight wins and fined $5,000 after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association found that Pinecrest violated the protocol around what’s known as the “eight quarter rule” allowed for football players under certain conditions who play in the junior varsity games on Thursday and then dress for the varsity games on Friday night.
Christina said that the the violation was not the fault of the students and no students were injured as a result of the failure to complete and file the forms properly.
The school appealed the ruling citing the severity of the punishment and the fact that the violation was self-reported. The NCHSAA Board denied the appeal Friday afternoon, based on using ineligible players by failure to follow the eight-quarter rule.
The eight-quarter rule requires school officials to file paperwork each week with the NCHSAA detailing the freshman and sophomores who participate in the varsity football games each week.
As required by the NCHSAA, only 12 players per team are designated as eight-quarter players. Those players must be medically examined after the junior varsity game and be cleared to suit up for the varsity game on Friday. If those players participate in the varsity game, they are allowed only eight quarters before they must be placed on junior varsity or varsity for the remainder of the season.
According to the NCHSAA rule book, the eight-quarter players must be determined prior to dressing out. Completion of a pre-approval form containing signatures of a licensed athletic trainer or medical doctor, principal, athletics director and parent/legal custodian is also needed. The form must be filed with the school and with the conference president on the day of the scheduled game.
Following the game, a status report on the designated players must be completed. That data should include the players and report the number of quarters in which the players actually played. Forms must be signed by coach, athletic director and principal and submitted online to the NCHSAA by the first school day following the varsity football game.