Defending 6A champion Lone Peak forfeits five victories for using ineligible player

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Lone Peak now 0-9 on the season, but will still make the playoffs

ALPINE, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Defending 6A high school football champion Lone Peak will have to forfeit all five of its victories this season for using an ineligible player.

The unanimous ruling was made by the Utah High School Activities Association Wednesday. The UHSAA released a statement saying, “A panel of Executive Committee members decided in a hearing Wednesday that Lone Peak’s football program would forfeit five victories due to the playing of an ineligible player.”

The school is appealing the decision, but a potential reversal would have to be made by Saturday.

Because the UHSAA is using an RPI ranking system for the playoffs this year, where every team makes the postseason regardless of record, the only thing that will affect the Knights is their seeding.

Lone Peak is now 0-9 headed into their regular-season finale tonight against Pleasant Grove.

The Knights would have most likely played a first-round home game, but now Lone Peak will have to open the playoffs on the road against a higher seed.

Apparently, when the ineligible student in question filled out the “Register My Athlete” portion of his registration at Lone Peak incorrectly. He stated that he had not attended another high school previously. The athlete thought the question pertained to Utah high schools, not out of state schools. So, he should have been considered to be a transfer student, which would be subject to different eligibility requirements.

Lone Peak principal Scott Sumner released the following statement on Wednesday:

“We are deeply troubled and disappointed by the ruling, and are currently pursuing an appeal. Alpine School District is supportive and involved in the process as well. The timeline of the appeal is up to the UHSAA. We will communicate with you once we learn the results. We know that our athletes and coaches have fought hard this season, and are hopeful for a successful decision.

“Last week, a clerical error was discovered on “Register My Athlete.”  After careful review, it was determined that we, the Lone Peak Athletic Department, had an obligation to self-report the situation to the Region IV Board of Managers, which consists of principals from the region schools.

“After reviewing the clerical error, it was the recommendation of the Region IV Board of Managers to uphold the self-imposed sanctions provided by the Lone Peak administration. 

“These recommendations were brought to the executive committee of the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA), who disagreed with the Region IV Board of Manager’s recommendations.  After a hearing before a panel of executive committee members this morning, it was decided that the Lone Peak football team must vacate all wins up to this point of the season. According to the new “RPI” ranking system, all teams qualify for the postseason regardless of region ranking.  This decision affects only the seeding of the postseason.

“We are deeply troubled and disappointed by the ruling, and are currently pursuing an appeal. Alpine School District is supportive and involved in the process as well. The timeline of the appeal is up to the UHSAA. We will communicate with you once we learn the results. We know that our athletes and coaches have fought hard this season, and are hopeful for a successful decision.

“We are proud of our players and coaches, and are grateful for your unending support of our program. We ask that you continue in this endeavor and focus your energy and devotion to supporting our athletes as we finish our season tonight, and enter the postseason. “

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