Prexies ordered to forfeit victories
All season long, the Washington High football program fought the WPIAL and PIAA to get eligibility for Charleroi transfer Zach Blystone — and failed.
Today, the Prexies find themselves in another eligibility fight for their entire season.
The WPIAL ruled that the Prexies (6-2, 5-2) must forfeit any game that senior Quorteze Levy, a starting receiver/defensive back, played in this season.
The ruling came after Washington discovered that Levy, a transfer from Michigan, attended ninth grade twice — in Michigan and Washington — which would put him over the limit of eligibility for semesters because he is in his fifth year of high school.
Washington reported the case to the WPIAL Friday.
Washington claimed the case was a mistake and it was an oversight that nobody realized Levy went to ninth grade twice.
After hearing what the district had to say, the WPIAL opted to waive the eight-semester rule and grant Levy an additional two semesters of eligibility, making him immediately eligible to play sports the rest of the year.
“That's pretty big for them because he is a three-sport athlete,” said WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley. “The board listened to the testimony and heard the evidence and decided to grant the extra two semesters.”
However, O'Malley said the board also ruled that any game Levy participated in up to this week must be forfeited by Washington, which means the Prexies must forfeit the six contests he played in this season.
Washington was already forced to forfeit a 50-14 victory over Brownsville for using Blystone after he was ruled ineligible and his family received a temporary injunction.
O'Malley said he expects Washington will accept the WPIAL's decision to grant the semester waiver. However, he also fully expects the district to appeal the enforcement of the forfeits to the PIAA.
“I would expect that Washington will appeal to the PIAA, and the PIAA will have to act quickly (this week) and make a decision,” O'Malley said. “The PIAA is aware of the situation.”
If the forfeits stand, the Prexies, who have only lost one game on the field all season, will drop to last place in the conference.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.