11-3A DEC rules ex-Ryan students ineligible

In news that isn’t really shocking or has much bearing on Ryan anymore, the District 11-3A executive committee ruled that Marcus Holcomb, Devontae Elder and Craig Moore are athletically ineligible this year at Prime Prep Academy. The news was broken by The Dallas Morning News’ Corbett Smith this morning.

Now that good basketball player was Holcomb, who averaged 10.8 points per game last season and was arguably the second-best player on a Ryan team carried by Trey Mohair and reached the Class 4A state tournament. Holcomb was voted third-team all-area by the Denton Record-Chronicle last year.

Ryan head coach Joey Florence went and talked to the committee last week regarding the Previous Athletic Participation Forms regarding the three players.

Section III of the PAPF forms has six questions on it, and if a player’s previous head coach answers “Yes” on any of those six questions, well, I’ll quote the fine red print of the form and let you see the ramifications of a failed response.

“Any ‘Yes’ answer to questions 1-6 above requires a full hearing of the District Executive Committee (DEC) to determine the eligibility status of the student. The student would be ineligible for varsity athletic participation until and unless the DEC hears testimony from the previous school, the student/parent and the new school and makes an eligibility determination.”

When I talked to the three kids earlier in August, they said their PAPF forms were clean. Well it looks like the DEC didn’t see it that way. And the DEC also ruled against three incoming transfers from Arlington Grace Prep. 

As unfortunate as it was for all of these kids to get caught up in this situation, it’s good to see the DEC show some resolve and keep all these kids from illegally transferring.

I’d like to be naive and think that after this messy saga has been played out to the fullest and it’s over and done with, a situation like this won’t happen again. But I know better than that. Somebody’s going to try and fix what went wrong in this botched experiment and tinker with the system all over again.

More importantly, it’s time people start putting high school sports (and probably sports in general) back down the pecking order where it belongs.

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