Investigation Finds 37 Booker T. Washington Athletes Ineligible

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Nov 4, 2009 5:7 PM CDT

More Coverage on Oklahoma Sports
- Booker T. at Bixby Means Bad Blood (11/5)
- View Tulsa Public Schools’ Full Press Release (11/4)
- Investigation Finds 37 Booker T. Washington Athletes Ineligible (11/4)
- An Explanation of OSSAA Recruiting Rules (10/28)
- Booker T. Washington’s Playoff Hopes in Peril (10/28)
- Booker T. Washington Athletes Found Ineligible, Football Coach Suspended (10/27)
- Booker T. Washington’s Team Page
- Discuss the Booker T. Washington Situation on the Oklahoma Sports Forums

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

TULSA, Oklahoma – Tulsa Public Schools announced Wednesday that the Booker T. Washington athletics program allowed a total of 37 players to take part in athletic events while they were academically ineligible.

Those 37 athletes were spread among the football, softball, volleyball and cross country teams. In one game alone, the Booker T. football team played 16 ineligible players.

On Oct. 28, the BTW football team was forced to forfeit two wins against Pryor and Nathan Hale, and athletic director/head coach Antwaine Jimmerson was suspended for the season.

That ruling was based on Booker T. Washington’s violation of OSSAA Rule 9, which forbids schools from recruiting players based simply on athletic ability. Six players were declared ineligible because of Rule 9. The ruling Wednesday centered on OSSAA Rule 3, which focuses on academics. In all, 43 athletes have been declared ineligible because of rule violations.

The two games BTW originally had to forfeit, against Pryor and Hale, would have been forfeited anyway thanks to further investigation. The Hornets not only were using a player who had been improperly recruited, but also allowed several academically ineligible players to participate.

The investigation will also cause Booker T. to forfeit its 90-0 win over Miami on Oct. 2. In that game, the Hornets used 16 academically ineligible players, including seven starters. Their three forfeited games drop the Hornets from second to sixth in District 5A-3, one season after winning the state championship.

All of the players found ineligible will be forced to sit out the same number of games they played, which will stretch into 2010.

Booker T. Washington’s volleyball team will also have to forfeit four games from this season, including a win in the playoffs over Tahlequah.