For the third time under David O’Connor, the Giles County football program has been punished for breaking TSSAA rules.
The Bobcats played an ineligible player and will have to forfeit five wins so their record will go from 5-3 to 0-8 and will not make the Class 3A playoffs.
Giles will forfeit wins over Lawrence County, Lincoln County, Whites Creek, Marshall County and Fayette Ware.
In a letter from TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress to Giles County principal Donna Cobb, the violation was outlined in the letter by Childress.
This is in regard to our inquiry concerning the playing of an ineligible athlete by the Giles County High School football program. According to the information we have been able to verify, a student-athlete was ruled eligible based on a bona fide change of residence and competed in seven football contests.
The state office staff and Giles County administration have been able to verify that the school was provided false information. The student-athlete’s family unit moved into the Giles County zone in order to get the student eligible.
Afterwards, one of the student’s parents moved back to their original residence. The parents did not share this with the school administration which resulted in the playing of an ineligible student-athlete.
Article Il, Section 13(c) (Ineligible Transfer Students) of the TSSAA bylaws states:
If a student has been ruled eligible as a result of a change of residence, and the parents or guardian return to the former residence before the student has been enrolled in the new school for one complete school year (or twelve months if the transfer occurred during the school year), the student will be ineligible for twelve months from his/her last participation date;
The first rules violation under O’Connor happened back in 2012 in his first stint in Pulaski as O’Connor was given a two game suspension breaking the recruiting rule by texting a student athlete from nearby Marshall County high school.
The second violation occurred in 2016 as Giles let eighth graders that were not enrolled at the high school come to the high school and lift weights, which is a violation of the current TSSAA sports calendar which is Article IV, Section 8 of the TSSAA Bylaws.
The Bobcats also was cited for conducting some football activities with no pads during sixth period.
Giles County is the fourth program to get punishment from playing an ineligible player this year as CAK had to forfeit one win, Clarksville Northeast had to forfeit five wins and Powell had to forfeit six wins after an ineligible player was discovered recently.
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