Cape Coral charter school football team forfeits games for use of ineligible player

Published: October 24, 2019 6:19 PM EDT
Updated: October 30, 2019 12:52 PM EDT

A high school football team in Cape Coral suffered three losses this week, and they didn’t play a single game. The losses come following the school reporting that its team used an ineligible player on the field. There are likely to be more consequences the team and school will face.

Oasis High School in Cape Coral voluntarily forfeited three football games after discovering its team used an ineligible player.

“I just think it’s crazy. You don’t know it,” said Anthony Holbrook, a grandparent in Cape Coral. “You should know all the ones. I mean you’re with them all the time.”

Although the team’s standings are hurt, the decision to self-report the violation is likely to protect the school and possible taxpayers from significant financial sanctions.

“To actually win games is quite an accomplishment,’ said Danielle Hernandez, a parent in Cape Coral.

Oasis High School is part of the City of Cape Coral Charter School Authority. The charter school authority self-reported the violation to the Florida High School Athletic Association.

In addition to the win forfeitures, Oasis Charter School faces other possible sanctions.

“If they did know, they gotta pay the penalty that they shoulda known better,” Holbrook said.

But, according to the FHSAA handbook, the self-reporting makes a significant impact on the punishment the school could receive.

“I would feel bad for my child because high school football is huge around here,” Hernandez said.

The Oasis HS football team will still finish out the season with a game Friday.

The charter school refused to confirm if the football coach faces any discipline or why the player was ruled ineligible. The school faces a possible fine, and the city confirmed it will not be paid with taxpayer money.

“It’s too bad because the ones that are fined, they’re getting hurt.” Holbrook said.

The City of Cape Coral Charter Authority said they are “proud of Coach Mack” and that the Oasis High football coach will not be reprimanded in any way.

Oasis High School released some documents to us on Oct. 30, 2019 in regard to the incident. They say they understand that the school does face the forfeiture of three football games and potential fines.

However, they did appeal the eligibility determination.

At no time did OHS coaches or other representatives of the school’s athletic interests intentionally permit an ineligible player to participate in an interscholastic athletic contest. At no time was and ineligible student inadvertently permitted to participate in an interscholastic contest. OHS coaches or other representatives of the school’s athletic interest neither knew or could have known any violation of the association’s rules and regulations.

They said as soon as they became aware of the situation, corrective action was taken.

“The player was determined ineligible and is prevented from competing in any future prospective contests. Unfairly punishing student-athletes retroactively for violations nobody knew or could have known is wrong.”