COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – After self-reporting a potential violation and working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association during an investigation, Canfield High School has been removed from the OHSAA ice hockey tournament, OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross has announced.
The investigation began after Canfield’s 6-4 victory over Twinsburg in the tournament’s opening game last Tuesday and will result in Twinsburg replacing Canfield on the bracket, with a second-round tournament game scheduled for Monday against Mayfield at the Kent State Ice Arena.
The investigation found that Canfield used an ineligible student-athlete in its tournament victory, with the penalty being forfeiture and removal from the tournament. The student-athlete was ineligible due to playing on a non-school team while competing for the school at the same time.
“As soon we became aware of the possibility that one of our student-athletes had been playing for a club team, we initiated an investigation concurrent with contacting the OHSAA, acknowledging that, if true, our hockey team might be removed from further play-off participation as a consequence,” Greg Cooper, Canfield athletic director, said.
“The information subsequently gathered supported the conclusion that a violation of OHSAA regulations had occurred and that Canfield had thus unknowingly used an ineligible player in our last Tuesday evening play-off game. Under that circumstance, as a member school of the OHSAA that supports the association’s goals and regulations, we elected to proactively forfeit our win. Additionally, we will add additional emphasis to our already in-place message to our athletic participants that they cannot play for Canfield High School and a club or travel team at the same time.”
“The Canfield administrators, coaches and student-athletes are to be commended for the way they have handled this situation,” Ross said. “It is never easy to remove a school from the tournament, but from the first phone call we received, Canfield has shown a tremendous about of integrity and honesty. We trust that this situation will not happen again there and we implore all our member schools to make sure their student-athletes are not playing or practicing for non-school teams while they are still members of their school team that season.”