The Kent-Meridian boys basketball team will have to forfeit all of its victories this season because of an ineligible player, according to David Lutes, the Kent School District’s athletic director.
Lutes and members of the Kent School District met with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) executive staff, which consists of WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese and four assistant directors, Wednesday afternoon for a hearing. WIAA rules state that a team using an ineligible player must forfeit any wins he or she played in, and the WIAA executive staff upheld that rule.
The decision means K-M is out of the SPSL 4A playoffs, although Lutes said K-M could make an appeal on Thursday. Kentwood, which didn’t make the playoffs, will take K-M’s spot on Saturday as the SPSL 4A North’s fifth seed against Emerald Ridge, the fifth seed in the SPSL 4A South. The winner will advance to the West Central district tournament while the loser is out.
The issue involves Calvin Edwards, a senior at K-M who is averaging 16.2 points. Lutes said it’s a “season-limitation issue,” meaning Edwards had already used up his high-school eligibility heading into this season.
K-M discovered Friday that Edwards wasn’t eligible and self-reported the violation Monday morning.
Lutes said K-M made “an inadvertent error, a clerical error and oversight” in using an ineligible player. The Kent School District asked the WIAA executive board to allow K-M to keep its wins and therefore keep playing in postseason.
Edwards didn’t play in K-M’s loss to Mount Rainier on Tuesday in a SPSL 4A North tiebreaker.
K-M can appeal to the executive board of the WIAA, the state’s governing body for high-school sports. The executive board includes members from the executive staff and representatives from around the state.
Lutes said he isn’t sure if K-M’s administration will appeal the decision.
K-M was 12-8 overall and 10-6 this season. Kentwood finished with an 11-9 record overall and an 8-8 mark in league play.
“I told the guys that this really is an opportunity that probably very few teams have gotten before,” Kentwood coach Blake Solomon said. “We just need to make sure the guys are ready to go if this holds up.”
The decision also changed the SPSL 4A North league winner. Tahoma and Auburn had previously split the league title, but Tahoma becomes the sole league champion because of the forfeitures.