Tulsa Public Schools: 37 More Booker T. Washington Athletes Ruled - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Public Schools: 37 More Booker T. Washington Athletes Ruled Ineligible

Posted: Updated:
Rule violations have sidelined more than 40 Booker T. Washington student athletes Rule violations have sidelined more than 40 Booker T. Washington student athletes
Tulsa School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard said it has been a tough day for a proud Tulsa high school. Tulsa School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard said it has been a tough day for a proud Tulsa high school.
Marilyn Leonard, a senior at Booker T., said she is disappointed to lose a beloved principal and the chance to defend a state football championship. Marilyn Leonard, a senior at Booker T., said she is disappointed to lose a beloved principal and the chance to defend a state football championship.

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- New details have been released in the eligibility scandal that's battering one of Tulsa's flagship high schools, Booker T. Washington High School.

Rule violations have now sidelined more than 40 Booker T. Washington student athletes. The Hornets are forfeiting games, championships and now another school leader. 

Last week, the Hornets lost their head coach for the season. With a fresh round of student athletes ruled ineligible, their principal is now stepping aside.  

"This has been a very difficult day for a very proud high school in Tulsa public schools," said Dr. Keith Ballard, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent.

Read The Entire Eligibility Report On PDF

Moments after he addressed news reporters, Dr. Keith Ballard faced a much tougher audience. Students gathered to ask why their principal Michael Johnson was stepping aside and what it meant for their school.

"I guess I could say that I was disappointed that Mr. Johnson is leaving, even though things weren't done the way they were supposed to," said Booker T. Washington High School senior Marilyn Leonard.  "The students here love Mr. Johnson."

It's the second eligibility scandal in as many weeks to rock the Hornets' hive. Last week, a Tulsa Public Schools investigation revealed Booker T. had violated state recruiting and residency rules. Five football players and one softball player were ruled ineligible.

Related Story 10/27/2009: Penalties Recommended For Tulsa's Booker T. Washington Athletic Staff

Tulsa Public Schools also discovered Booker T. didn't check grades to make sure athletes were eligible to participate for four weeks.

"We in fact did have people reporting difficulties with student grades, and that's where the adults did not step up and did not take care of their obligations in turning that in," Ballard said.

So 37 more Hornets in four sports, including softball, volleyball, cross country, and football, participated when they shouldn't have. Academic ineligibility will strip the Hornet volleyball team of a regional championship.

And 16 ineligible athletes played in one football game earlier this month.

"I'm disappointed that we don't get to go to state, said senior Marilyn Leonard. "I'm disappointed we don't get to go to the playoffs, and so we don't get to defend our title. This was our year. I'm a senior. And football is over."

Ballard assured the students that he would act quickly to name their new principal, and these Hornets say they will stick together and stand behind their school.

Dr. Ballard promises to name an interim principal for Booker T. within the week. In the meantime, he's tapped some familiar faces, a former principal and former coach, to take the helm.

Read More On OKBlitz.com

 

 

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.