FLORISSANT, Mo. — Another St. Louis area high school football program has self-reported to the Missouri State High School Activities Association that they used an ineligible player this season.
5 On Your Side’s Ahmad Hicks confirmed McCluer North self-reported to the Missouri State High School Activities Association last week that they used an ineligible player this season. The school used the player in all but one game. The player’s name has not been released.
MSHSAA said they’re working on a punishment but will most likely have to forfeit some wins. The executive director of MSHSAA, Dr. Urhahn, is overseeing this case and is currently out of state for meetings. He will look at them and choose whether to accept the self-reported sanctions or discipline them further.
Head coach Leon McElrath said they still plan to play on Nov. 9 in the second round of playoffs. The team has a 6-3 record.
McElrath said he was not allowed to speak on the situation.
"No one seems to believe that this was done with any intention," STL Today high school football writer David Kvidahl said. "My understanding is that the coaching staff just assumed everything was OK, and they continued to play him and run him out there and submit statistics for him."
Kvidahl says two other schools, Jennings and Bishop DuBourg, have found similar issues with ineligible players and self-reported in the past couple of weeks.
He said it's all because of the Cardinal Ritter scandal last month.
Cardinal Ritter's team was suspended and coaches fired for playing an ineligible student with a different number and a different name on the roster.
That school self-reported what happened only after Kvidahl and his team started asking them about it.
"When the Cardinal Ritter story came out, I think people really started to make sure they had their I's dotted and their T's crossed," he said.
But no team's errors compare to Cardinal Ritter's, he said.
"The cover-up was incredible with what they did. The others have obviously not done that," he said.
Statement from Ferguson-Florissant School District spokesperson,
'Through an internal review we found players that were not included on McCluer North's football eligibility roster. Upon further review we found that we had an ineligible player who had participated in several games.
Upon discovering this error we self-reported to MSHSAA and have offered our opponent the opportunity to host the playoff game this weekend. We will continue to work with MSHSAA through this process.
The McCluer North Athletic Director is currently on leave. This is a personnel matter, and I can’t discuss it at this time.'