WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The South Central boys basketball team must forfeit a total of ten wins from this season due to an ineligible player, according to a source close to the team.
An official release with more details about the situation is expected to be released by the high school soon.
The Falcons are the defending 4A state champions and finished the regular season as the top team in the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A conference. They earned the top seed in the conference tournament despite finishing the regular season in a tie with J.H. Rose.
Vacating ten wins means the Falcons' record will drop to 8-16 overall. The Falcons will still make the postseason as an at-large bid but will be a very low seed.
Be sure to stick with WITN on-air and online for more details as they develop.
Pitt County Schools Press Release
NCHSAA Ruling: South Central High School Men's Basketball
PCS confirms a recent ruling by the NCHSAA regarding South Central High School’s varsity men’s basketball program. On February 17, 2020, the NCHSAA handed down penalties, resulting in the forfeiture of ten games, to South Central High School citing, “use of an ineligible athlete- failure to meet LEA (Pitt County Schools) residence requirements” as a violation of NCHSAA current policy. An investigation followed allegations from a community member that a student playing for the South Central men’s team had not moved to the address contained in documentation presented to the school upon registration.
NCHSAA Policy 1.2.10 states, “A student is eligible to participate at the school to which he or she is assigned by the local board of education, within the administrative unit of residence--any change in residence must be bona fide, which means made, done, or presented in good faith; without deception or fraud--in no case will any exception be made to the following principle: Change of schools must be contemporaneous with the change in residence.”
The NCHSAA policy further clarifies a bona fide move and states, “In order for a change of residence to be considered bona fide at least the following facts must exist,
(1) The original residence must be abandoned as a residence; that is sold, rented, or disposed of as a residence, and must not be used as residence by any member of the family.
(2) The entire family must make the change and take with them the household goods and furniture appropriate to the circumstances.
(3) The change must be made with the intent that it is permanent.
(4) The change must not be made for athletics purposes.”
Pitt County Schools policy 4150 E defines conditions for reassignment/transfer regarding athletic eligibility and states, “Any student who transfers schools within Pitt County, other than through a bona fide move, once they have started ninth grade, is not eligible for athletic participation for 365 days. However, the Board of Education will allow immediate athletic eligibility if the transfer is from a Pitt County High School to Ayden-Grifton High School, Farmville Central High School, or North Pitt High School.”
South Central High School formally appealed the ruling. The appeal was denied on February 20, 2020.