*****UPDATE:During the hearing this morning, it became clear that Dudley likely had violated the one-game-per-week rule at least one other time this season by allowing some players to dress out and/or play for both the junior varsity and varsity games. Further review found the rule was broken in at least four games.
Guilford County Schools (GCS) anticipates that the team will have to report these games to the NCHSAA as well, which would result in additional forfeitures, making the team ineligible for the playoffs.
“This is our error, and we need to own it,” said Jesse Pratt, Dudley High’s principal. “In GCS and at Dudley High, we want to play fair, and we play by the rules. We sincerely apologize to our students, staff and community, and deeply appreciate all the support they have shown throughout this process.”*****
DUDLEY APPEAL TO FULL BOARD IS DENIED
CHAPEL HILL—The full Board of Directors of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association voted Thursday morning to uphold the previous decision of the Executive Committee and denied the appeal by Dudley High School.
The Dudley contingent admitted to the full Board that there had been a violation of NCHSAA rules but asked that the penalty not include elimination of the playoffs, asking for mercy from the Board.
Ineligible players in Dudley’s final regular season game against Southeast Guilford were reported, and Dudley thus had to forfeit that contest. Players may play in only one football game a week, unless the “eight-quarter rule” applies and documentation is available. The school then filed notice of an appeal earlier this week.
The rule governing the situation in terms of the playoff brackets is 3.2.3 (a) in the current edition of the NCHSAA Handbook, which states that “the team shall not participate in playoffs if, after the brackets have been finalized, forfeited contests cause an adjustment in its record and seed.”
The Board discussion indicated that the rules in the NCHSAA Handbook had been appropriately applied in this particular case.
In the process of the appeal Thursday and questions to Dudley officials about the situation, additional information was revealed indicating there could be other violations which occurred during the season. Additional follow up will occur between the NCHSAA and Dudley.
President Bill Miller of the NCHSAA commended Dudley for its professionalism and candor as its officials shared information with the Board.