CONWAY, SC (WMBF/WCSC) - The South Carolina High School League has decided to uphold their decision to disqualify Goose Creek High School, advancing Conway High's Tigers into the playoffs.
Goose Creek High School officials head to Columbia Wednesday afternoon hoping to reverse the ruling that disqualified the school's defending champs from the playoffs, but the appeal was denied despite the emotional display by the team's head coach.
The SCHSL voted 9-2 to uphold the disqualification.
Goose Creek has decided that they will appeal that decision as well, in a mercy appeal. That appeal, however, was denied.
The school's football team was disqualified from the South Carolina football playoffs, according to the South Carolina High School League. Bruce Hulion, Commissioner of SC Football Coaches Association and an executive with the SCHSL, said Goose Creek is being disqualified for using an ineligible player.
According to Amy Kovach, Director of Communication for Berkeley County School District, Goose Creek officials self-reported the incident to the SCHSL after uncovering a clerical error. Kovach would not go into detail as to what the error was.
Goose Creek, the defending 4A Division II state champions, were set to play Bluffton Friday, Nov. 16 in the playoffs.
Hulion says a player can be deemed ineligible by being too old, not residing in the school district, undergoing an improper transfer, among others.
The Gators finished the 2012 regular season undefeated, going 11-0. They opened the 2012 playoffs with a decisive 48-7 win over Conway on Nov. 9.
The Gators are the 13th-best high school team in the United States, according to the writers at MaxPreps, a CBSsports.com site.
According to Bluffton Head Coach Ken Cribb, the disqualification of Goose Creek puts his team at a disadvantage. Bluffton has been preparing this week for Goose Creek, but will now have to get ready to play Conway on short notice.
Hulion says another South Carolina high school, Lower Richland, was disqualified last Thursday because of an ineligible player.
Byrnes High School was also disqualified due to an ineligible player, though the decision was reversed after an appeal explained the player only dressed, but did not play.