A Kent-Meridian senior player was found to have been ineligible even before the season started, forcing the Royals to forfeit all their victories.
Kent-Meridian High School’s boys basketball team must forfeit all of its victories this season because of an ineligible player, according to Dave Lutes, Kent School District athletic director.
Lutes and district officials met with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association executive staff — executive director Mike Colbrese and four assistant directors — for a hearing Wednesday. WIAA rules state that a team using an ineligible player must forfeit any wins in games the athlete played in.
The issue involves Calvin Edwards, a senior at Kent-Meridian who averages 16.2 points. Lutes said it’s a “season-limitation issue,” meaning Edwards had already used up his eligibility before the season began.
Kent-Meridian discovered Friday that Edwards wasn’t eligible and self-reported the violation Monday morning.
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Lutes said Kent-Meridian made “an inadvertent error, a clerical error and oversight” in using an ineligible player. The school district asked the WIAA executive board to allow the Royals to keep their wins and therefore continue playing in the postseason.
The decision means Kent-Meridian is out of the South Puget Sound League 4A playoffs, although Lutes said the school could appeal on Thursday. Lutes said he didn’t know if Kent-Meridian will appeal.
On Tuesday, Edwards didn’t play in Kent-Meridian’s loss to Mount Rainier in a tiebreaker game.
Kentwood will replace K-M as the North Division’s No. 5 seed and play Emerald Ridge, the fifth seed in the SPSL 4A South, on Saturday. The winner will advance to the West Central District tournament, while the loser is out.
Kent-Meridian was 12-8 overall and 10-6 in league. Kentwood is 11-9 overall, 8-8 in league.
“I told the guys that this really is an opportunity that probably very few teams have gotten before,” Kentwood coach Blake Solomon said of his team’s playoff spot. “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 division title. After the forfeited games, Tahoma becomes the North’s No. 1-seeded team.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org