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Goose Creek Gators Win In Court

Berkeley County's legal challenge a last chance for a playoff tournament return.

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Update (12:30 p.m.): Judge rules S.C. High School League must reconsider Goose Creek case.

In the meantime, Goose Creek plays Bluffton tonight in the second round of the AAAA state playoffs. 

The SCHSL can meet in open session on Monday and reconsider disqualification then.

Read: District Statement on Court Decision

Update (10:40 a.m.): The judge says he is going to take some time to look over documents and expects to have a ruling within the hour. 

Update (10 a.m.): Attorneys for the S.C. High School League are arguing that it was Goose Creek that self-reported the violation. 

The clock for the eight-semester rule began his freshman year, even if the player was in a group home in the Upstate and not enrolled in local high school, SCHSL attorneys said.

Update (9:45 a.m.): Attorneys for Goose Creek High School arguing that the player ruled ineligible by the S.C. High School League, called "John Doe" in court papers, is eligible because he did not have access to high school sports while in an Upstate group home.

It wasn't until the player enrolled at Berkeley High School in 2010 that the player had access to sports, so that's when the eight-semester eligibility rule should start.

Attorneys are also saying the hearing at the SCHSL was closed illegally on Wednesday night.

Update (9:15 a.m.): The hearing has begun. A request for a temporary restaining order has been filed in attempts to stop tonight's football game and provide a full hearing for Goose Creek.

Update (8:50 a.m.): Goose Creek football coach Chuck Reedy, school principal Jim Huskey, State Rep. Bill Crosby and numerous players and supporters have entered the Berkeley County Courthouse for a hearing on the case.

An injunction could prevent tonight's playoff game between Bluffton and Conway from taking place.

Original story: The Berkeley County School District will be in court Friday morning, trying to salvage the postseason chances for Goose Creek High School. The nationally ranked, undefeated Gators was eliminated from play earlier this week due to an ineligible player.

The Berkeley County School District will seek to have Goose Creek High School reinstated in the playoffs. Judge Roger Young will hear the motion on at 9 a.m. Friday in the Berkeley County Courthouse, Courtroom E.

  • Read: District Goes to Court to Save Postseason
  • Read: District's Release on Legal Challenge to Disqualification
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The school requested a hardship from the S.C. High School League, arguing that coaches and administrators were unaware this was the student's fifth year of high school sports because he was approved to play on an incomplete transcript. 

The SCHSL voted 10-1 to refuse the scool's request, replacing the Gators in round two of the 4A Division Two tournament with Conway, the team that lost in Goose Creek last week, 48-7.

Supreintendent Rodney Thompson laid out the argument for the district in a statement Thursday: "First, the punishment of our students does not fit the infraction; second, there was no intent to gain competitive advantage in play; third, there was no intent to deceive; and, fourth, the child in question should qualify for hardship consideration given his special qualifications.”

  • Read: Gators Lose Appeal In Front of SCHSL Committee
  • Read: District's Response to Lost Appeal
  • Read: Chuck Reedy's Appeal to SCHSL Executive Committee
  • Read: Goose Creek Gators Disqualified
  • Read: Players and Students React to News
  • Read: District Statement and Details of Appeal
  • List of S.C. High School League committee members
Chris D. November 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Generations is a residential care facility. It is in effect a detention center for youth. Students are "detained" on the Generations campus but allowed to complete high school through the Greenville County School District.
Anne Hochreiter November 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I think that the league group has overstepped into something they know nothing about. This will make it better in the years to come because it needs to be restructured to fit the year 2012. All of this will come out good in the end result. They have violated a federal law it seems from the events leading up to this point. Anyone who has a child in their family that has been in public school and deemed a problem knows how it feels to try and pull that child out of the grips of failure. It seems that Goose Creek had adults that were and still are in a position to do this and thus he will become a law a biding citizen because of leadership he now has access to that he undoubtedly did not before. Caring teachers and leadership in public schools should not be penalized.
Kerry November 16, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Ahh...the suspense!!!
Ryan Hamm November 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
this is a great story and hopefully keeps going in the way of Goose Creek. Obviously not the normal rock star football player trying to get away with something. This is a feel good story that I hope has a happy ending!

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