TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Sequoyah High School's football team avoided the death penalty Wednesday after being found guilty of 2009 athletic infractions.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association reinstated "11 of the 12 Sequoyah High School football players ruled ineligible last month. The 12 had successfully petitioned the OSSAA to play senior night Nov. 2.
But the team, one point away from a perfect 2012 season, won't be advancing to the 3A playoffs Friday. The OSSAA ruled the team ineligible to play at all this post-season.
The governing body also dictated the Indians:
- Prohibit spring 2013 football practice and participation in 2013 summer football camps and clinics
- Prohibit interschool football scrimmages before the opening of the regular 2013 football season
- Be placed on a two-year warning
- Conduct an internal operation audit of all school sports to ensure compliance
- Reimburse OSSAA for attorney fees and other investigation costs
- A suspension, for the coach in question, from coaching any OSSAA member school for one year
- Require students in question to reimburse the school for football summer camp tuition
School officials accepted the penalty, even applauding OSSAA's judgment.
"This was very fair, better than we expected," Crittenden said. "It means students are not sitting out of any further sports beyond the current football playoffs and 3A title game."
"We have fought tooth and nail for these kids to come to a compromise. The ‘death penalty' would have been devastating for our school, particularly because these students didn't knowingly do anything wrong," Superintendent Leroy Qualls said.