Eligibility Scandal Continues To Rock Booker T. Washington - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Eligibility Scandal Rocks Booker T. Washington

Posted: Updated:
Several administrators have been reassigned in the fallout from the athletic eligibility investigation. Several administrators have been reassigned in the fallout from the athletic eligibility investigation.
The Hornets will not be able to defend their state championship since ineligible athletes were allowed to compete this season. The Hornets will not be able to defend their state championship since ineligible athletes were allowed to compete this season.

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The academic scandal that left dozens of Booker T. Washington also forced several administrators to steps down. Investigators say the school let 37 students compete in four sports even though they were flunking classes.

Booker T.'s principal and assistant principal will be transferred to other schools, and a number of games will be forfeited. Investigators say the results are unfortunate, but they hope this sends a message.

"If there are people out there not following the rules, it's going to come back and get them at some point," said Dr. Stephanie Spring, TPS Athletic Director.

Tulsa Public Schools athletic director Stephanie Spring launched the investigation several weeks ago after she received "one call about one kid." She says what she discovered quickly became bigger than what anyone expected.

Related Story 11/4/09: Tulsa Public Schools: 37 More Booker T. Washington Athletes Ruled Ineligible

"It's bothersome when one of your schools is involved in a violation such as this, to the extent that they are.  So it has been a tough, tough time," Spring said.

The first violations were revealed last week. Six students had violated residency rules. That prompted the suspension of football coach and athletic director Antwain Jimmerson.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that 37 athletes in four sports - football, volleyball, softball and cross country - competed while academically ineligible. Investigators say administrators failed to check their grades.

"That's the whole tragedy in this thing is.  It's about adults who really didn't do what they were supposed to do, and kids who paid the price for that," said Dr Keith Ballard, TPS Superintendent.

Booker T. principal Michael Johnson will step aside. James Furch will serve as interim principal.       

"It's just a matter of getting in and trying to pull people together, and say look this is a setback and there will be some things we'll have to work on," said James Furch, interim principal at Booker T. Washington.

While disappointed at discovering Booker T.'s violations, Spring continues to believe that most of her schools are playing by the rules.

"I don't think just because you have mistakes at some high profile programs that everyone is breaking the rules and cheating. I'm just not going to believe that," said Dr. Stephanie Spring, Tulsa Public Schools Athletic Director.

The OSSAA will decide if these self-imposed penalties are enough. Dr. Spring is a member of the Association's Board of Directors and has removed herself from that process.

Booker T. Washington will still take on Bixby Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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.