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San Clemente kicked out of Calif. Southern Section playoffs for fielding ineligible player

Southern California high school San Clemente has been booted from the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs after they were found to have played their first round game with an ineligible player.

As reported by the Los Angeles Daily News, San Clemente was found to have violated the so-called “undue influence” rules by contacting a player on the current roster before he had enrolled at the school. While the undisclosed player has the right to appeal the ruling, given his current status, San Clemente’s forthcoming game in the CIF-SS Div. 2 semifinals has been declared a forfeit, with Chaminade instead advancing to the regional finals by default.

According to a statement by the Capistrano Unified School District, San Clemente self-reported the alleged violation and didn’t know of any possible transgression until it was notified of the potential violation by CIF itself.

Here’s the full statement from Capistrano Unified School District chief communications officer Ryan Burris:

“Last week, information was provided to San Clemente High School Administration alleging possible CIF violations regarding athletic transfers to SCHS. After a preliminary investigation by SCHS, it was discovered that there was one potential violation. The SCHS Administration was not aware of any violation prior to this investigation.

“SCHS self-reported the potential violation to the CIF-Southern Section office on Friday, November 15th as required. This morning the CIF-SS rendered a decision that SCHS played an ineligible player based on pre-enrollment contact. As a result, SCHS must forfeit all varsity football games from the current 2019 season and will not be able to continue in the playoffs as of today.

“We are deeply saddened by the decision and feel terrible for our current players who have worked so hard to achieve so much on the field. San Clemente High School holds itself to the highest standards and will continually follow all policies and procedures to pursue victory with honor.”

Technically, San Clemente will be forced to forfeit all its games pending its appeal. A decision on the appeal will have to come before Friday for San Clemente to regain its position in the regional semifinals.

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