Ineligible player gets local high school disqualified from state - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Ineligible player gets local high school disqualified from state b-ball tourney

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Ridgeway boys basketball team will not be headed to do the state tournament after using an ineligible player.

The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA) ruled Thursday that the team is disqualified, just before it was scheduled to play Southwind in the Region-8 AAA tournament championship.

Parents say the student in question was playing basketball for Ridgeway and attending school there.

But officials says he provided false documents to the school, including a false transcript. He claimed to be living with a mother, who they actually believe to be his girlfriend.

James Muhammad was shocked to hear his favorite team was not going to have the chance to play for a state title.

"I know one thing about Ridgeway, they always run a clean program," said Muhammad.

Bernard Childress, executive director of the TSSAA, says a student athlete was identified as a transfer student from Louisiana. He did not reveal his name but said the student was 18 and living with a 35-year-old woman, who he claimed was his mother.

After the student got in trouble at school, it was discovered that he was actually living with a girlfriend or wife and not his mother.

In addition, they learned that the student had already received a GED in Shreveport and falsified a transcript.

He did not play much, but the TSSAA says he played long enough to make the team ineligible.

Several parents are gathering at a school board meeting to protest the decision, even though the team forfeited Thursday night's game.

At this time, no criminal charges have been filed and we do not know the name of the student involved in the incident.

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