Report: Ineligible GC player was ‘honorary’ team member

The ineligible Goose Creek football player whose team was disqualified from the Class 4A playoffs on Tuesday is a special-needs student who did not play a game this season, according to a report on WBCD-TV in Charleston.

According to the report, the player, who was not identified by name, is a fifth-year student who was allowed to suit up for the team as an “honorary member” but did not participate in a game for the Gators.

The South Carolina High School League ruled the player ineligible on Tuesday and disqualified the No. 1-seeded team and the defending state champion from making a repeat run at the 4A, Division II title.

According to the report, the SCHSL has provisions for such players to dress out with the squad but it requires the school to fill out special paperwork. Goose Creek claims it did not know about the provision.

The SCHSL, which will hear Goose Creek’s appeal at a 5:30 p.m. meeting in Columbia today, claims that an ineligible player did participate in a game, the report said.

If the SCHSL upholds its decision, Conway High, a 48-7 loser to the Gators in the first round last Friday, will be allowed to return to the playoffs and take Goose Creek’s place against No. 9-seeded Bluffton.

If the SCHSL overturns the ruling, Goose Creek will be permitted back in the playoffs but could face a lesser penalty. The final decision is expected later today.

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