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MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – The decision to end Miramar High School’s football season prior to the playoffs was made and then announced Thursday evening to an auditorium filled with students and parents and emotions ran high.
At one point police were even called in to help calm the crowd. No violence erupted, but tempers certainly flared.
The decision to kill the Patriots football season came following allegations that student athletes were allowed to play who did not meet the grade point average (GPA) requirements.
This all came after former football coach Matt Stout was forced to resign and then accused the team of using ineligible players.
A source told CBS4 News the ex-coach also alleged some players were paid to play.
Senior Reciever Jason Durante said he was accused of being paid, but told CBS4’s Gaby Fleischman that wasn’t true.
Fleischman asked, “Were you ever paid to transfer to Miramar?”
“No,” replied Durante.
“Were you ever offered money,” asked Fleischman.
” No….never offered money. I never took any money, never thought about taking money,” replied Durante.
The only thought on the acting coach and parents minds was trying to get the district to change their mind.
They argued the 70 players earned the right to play and were asking the Broward County School board to make their decision after the investigation.
Earlier in the day members of the Miramar High Patriots football team, along with parents and supporters, protested outside the district’s School Board building after learning the team was booted from the playoffs over the alleged violations.
In response to the protest, Broward Schools issued a statement which read in part:
“At all times, the District intends to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). The District and Broward District Schools Police are continuing to investigate various allegations regarding the Miramar High School football program. These allegations include student eligibility and “impermissible benefits” to team members.
Based on the nature of the allegations, Miramar High School self-reported to the FHSAA on October 30, 2014, and is now vacating its seeding in the Florida High School Football State Championship. The FHSAA will determine the next steps on how the playoffs will proceed for Broward County high schools.”
Miramar wasn’t the only South Florida high school to lose its spot in the playoffs, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
Reigning Class 2A state champion Hialeah Champagnat was informed by the FHSAA that it would lose its playoff berth because they broke the rules last week in a game against Bradenton IMG Academy when they walked off the field mid-way through and forfeited the game.
According to a FHSAA by-law, “A school that fails to play a contracted game as scheduled shall forfeit the game and shall become ineligible to participate in the Florida High School State Championships that season or a future season.”
School officials said they are considering their options and may appeal the ruling.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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