11/01/13 – Fairview High School Receives Sanctions From KHSAA; Football Team Removed From Postseason Play

November 1, 2013 2013-2014 News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 1, 2013 

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has handed down sanctions to Fairview High School for violation of Bylaw 3 (Maximum Number of Years) and Bylaw 4 (Enrollment Requirements), penalties which include the forfeiture of 19 football games over the last two seasons, including having its 2012 Class 1A State Runner-Up finish vacated, and the suspension and removal of the Fairview HS football team from the 2013 state playoffs.

“For 55 years, Fairview Schools have had an outstanding relationship with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Today’s ruling will not change that relationship as this incident with the ineligible player was handled with the utmost professionalism by the Commissioner and his staff,” said Fairview Independent Schools Superintendent Bill Musick. “We as a staff at Fairview Schools accept the responsibility for what has transpired. Neither the Fairview Schools nor Fairview High School has any intention on appealing this decision as our sole focus is moving forward from this situation with renewed focus and energy on managing a fully compliant athletic program. From this day on, we will be moving forward to be sure an incident like this or any other similar to this does not happen again in our athletic department.”

During the course of its internal investigation, Fairview Independent Schools determined that a student-athlete was allowed to enroll at Fairview High School and participate on the football team without a full examination of his past enrollment history, resulting in a violation of both Bylaw 4, Section 2 (during 2012-2013) and Bylaw 3 (during 2013-2014). This lack of an effective control procedure resulted in the student participating not for a brief, short period of time, but for more than a year, across two competitive seasons, and allowed the student the possible opportunity for an otherwise prohibited privilege of participating in five competitive seasons in the same sport following eighth-grade promotion.

In addition to the illegal impact the ineligible player had in athletic competition, the participation of an ineligible player jeopardizes the KHSAA’s catastrophic insurance policy for all student-athletes. The members schools of the Association have agreed to abide by the Bylaws of the KHSAA which are indisputable when the knowledge is there to prevent an ineligible player from participating.

“The KHSAA prides itself on the myriad of participation opportunities for students in high school sports and sport activities. Truly, these events are the other half, and most times a very important half, of education. But like any membership organization, we must depend on our member schools to have policies, procedures and practices in place to ensure that the rules that originate with member school approval and ensure fair competition are consistently and fairly applied,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “Fairview High School has been a good member of the KHSAA for 55 years, and will continue to be a valuable member of the Association. It is my hope that this setback, and the many lessons learned by all of those involved, will only serve to strengthen their resolve to do things correctly and fairly on behalf of the students, coaches, administrators and fans; and based on their ongoing internal efforts, will ensure that this type of situation is not repeated.”

The KHSAA accepted the following penalties as proposed by Fairview Independent Schools, including the forfeiture of all contests during the 2012 season, the forfeiture of the first four contests of the 2013 football season, probation for the football program through the end of the 2017 season, a $5,000 fine, a district wide (all sports) coaches education administrators meeting to be run by the KHSAA and funded by Fairview, and the return of all playoff trophies earned during the 2012 season to the KHSAA.

The $5,000 fine will be paid and distributed in the following manner: $2,800 restitution to the KHSAA for travel allowances paid during the 2012 State Football Finals, $550 redistribution to each of the four member schools Fairview defeated in the 2012 state playoffs.

In addition to accepting the self-proposed penalties by Fairview, the KHSAA has elected to impose the following sanctions:

1. The Fairview football program will be suspended from all official activity (practice, competition, meetings and other activities) effective Tuesday, November 5, 2013 until the first allowable reported day of spring practice in football for 2014.

2. Fairview’s second-place district finish in 2013 will be vacated and the team will not be permitted to participate in the 2013 KHSAA football playoffs. The vacated game between Fairview and the third-place team from the opposite district will be considered a forfeit by Fairview. No adjustments will be made to the district standings or playoff schedule of any other team in the two affected districts.

3. The District, Region and Semi-State championship positions from 2012, as well as the State Runner-up finish in the 2012 Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl shall be vacated, and all records removed as to those finishing positions.

4. An Assistant Commissioner of the KHSAA will be assigned to work with the Superintendent of Fairview Independent Schools to ensure development of policies, procedures and best practices to be implemented in the athletic program.

All forfeited games by Fairview will be recorded on the official records as 1-0 in compliance with the playing rules of the NFHS. Scores of those games lost by Fairview will have the original score reported and the results will be so noted.

The KHSAA will have no further comment on this matter. All inquiries should be directed to Fairview Independent Schools.

– KHSAA – 

About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 277 member schools both public and private. The KHSAA sanctions 40 state championships in 12 sports and 4 sport activities, licenses and trains over 4,000 officials, provides catastrophic insurance for its more than 70,000 member school student-athletes, as well as overseeing coaching education and sports safety programs.