The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee rejected appeals of sanctions by Livonia and Mandeville high schools in a conference call Friday afternoon.
Livonia is required to forfeit 18 baseball games and seven football games because of the play of a freshman student who was ruled ineligible based on a transfer rule violation after the school self-reported a possible violation a few days ago. The sanctions also require the school to return the Class 3A runner-up trophy for football earned last fall.
“This was an extremely tough situation,” said LHSAA vice president Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic, who presided over the Livonia appeal. “What usually comes out in cases like this is that schools aren’t as familiar with the transfer rules and other avenues that are available to verify a student’s status.
“In this case, there was no court order involving custody. The student’s parents were not married and (he) lived with one or both at different times. (LHSAA Executive Director Kenny) Henderson even stated during the appeal that, had this case been submitted as a hardship involving a different bylaw, he likely would have been granted eligibility.”
Attempts to contact Livonia Principal Stacey Gueho immediately after the appeal were unsuccessful. Once the appeal ended, Gueho began meeting with Pointe Coupee Parish School Board officials.
Livonia was fined $400 for the violations and also must return its runner-up trophy in football along with gate receipts from three playoff games the student participated in. The student in question played in the Wildcats’ football playoff games vs. Carroll, Church Point and Jennings. He will be required to sit out seven football games and 18 baseball games in 2014-15.
Mandeville will forfeit eight baseball games, also because of a transfer-related violation that was self-reported by the school. The Skippers were fined $200. The student cited in the sanctions must sit out eight games in 2015.
Bonnaffee said the Mandeville case also involved a situation which there was no court order regarding custody of the student.