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MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – On the night Miramar’s football team was set to play Monarch, a judge handed down his decision to end the team’s season amid violation allegations.
Broward Circuit Court Judge Jack Tuter ruled that Miramar’s principal, along with the district’s athletic director made the recommendation to end the season, and that should stick.
“She on her own, in consultation with a representative from the school board, decided to vacate the bracket,” the Judge said. “She had the legal power to do that. whether she did it correctly or not that’s for others to debate at a later time.”
An attorney for interim coach Antwan Scott filed a motion Friday asking the judge to file an emergency temporary injunction against the School Board so the team could complete their 2014 season, and if necessary, reschedule the Class 8A Quarterfinal football game scheduled for Friday. That was denied by the judge.
The call to end the Miramar Patriots’ season came after the team’s former coach Matt Strout, who was forced to resign last month, made accusations that some of the members of the team did not have the GPA requirements to play – yet they did.
A source told CBS4 News the ex-coach also alleged some players were paid to play.
In court Friday, Scott testified saying Stout is the one who made serious allegations of “pay to play.” He said those allegations were payback.
“He basically told me, in that part of the season, if he was ever fired, he would bring Miramar down,” said Scott.
Initially, there were just a few students accused in this investigation but on the stand, the district’s athletic director Damian Huttenhoff said it’s larger.
“We’re talking about much more than three athletes,” said Huttenhoff. “We’re probably talking about 20.”
Back in school Friday morning, feeling defeated after they were pulled from the playoffs, members of Miramar High’s football team were at a loss when they returned to class.
Khalil Lewis, a senior on the team, said he almost didn’t make it to school because he was just so upset.
“I couldn’t even really sleep last night, I was just thinking about my years of being here and I can’t believe it’s all over,” said Lewis.
Lews said several of his teammates didn’t show up for class at all, knowing that their chance at a championship was gone.
“The seniors, they were able to get scholarships and now this rumor has been spread that the grades were being changed and some people who were playing that weren’t allowed, it’s kind of sad. It ruins the opportunities for people who were putting in hard work,” said Nia Gray.
Students and parents were informed of the decision to pull the team for the playoffs on Thursday.
“That’s not fair to the kids, you are taking this away and now they are going to have a lot of kids that are not going to have anything to do and they are going to get in trouble because they have nothing to look forward to,” said parent Sharonda Dickens.
“Seventy kids, their season that they earned is over because of allegations on an investigation that is not complete. This is not right,” said interim coach Antwan Scott.
Students agreed that the decision was premature and the team should have been allowed to finish out the season.
“You should give them a second chance and try to look deeper into this situation to make sure all the facts are accurate and not just accusations,” said Gray.
Miramar wasn’t the only South Florida high school to lose its spot in the playoffs.
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 filed an emergency appeal on Friday which was denied.
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