MONTEVALLO, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Montevallo’s high school football team was forced to forfeit three games, pay a fine and have been put on probation. This comes after the AHSAA found that the team played an academically ineligible player.
Earlier this week, the Montevallo High School football team was 4-2 on the season, which is the team’s best start to a football season in years under the direction of former Alabama quarterback, Andrew Zow.
Zow says after the AHSAA’s sentencing, his team’s record is 1-5. Three of their winning games were forfeited after Zow reported a technicality in the computer system that did not show one of his players became academically ineligible during the season.
“The sad thing about it is that we followed protocol, and did everything we were supposed to do in our power, and some computer software let us down,” said Zow.
Zow says his players are hurting.
“Yesterday was probably the worst day that I’ve had as a coach. To see these young men cry, I had to walk out once or twice. It was so tough to see these kids fight so hard and have something taken from them,” said Zow.
Inside Main Street Tavern, the news is the main topic of conversation for the loyal patrons and parents of players.
“Who is holding the computer accountable? According to the computer, the kid was eligible,” said former player and parent Kevin Hughes.
“This is a system we are forced to play under, so I want someone to look into this situation and not make such a drastic decision that affects young people’s lives and the people in this small town,” Hughes said.
“You find so many life lessons in football, but this one that is a little bit harder to swallow for these guys,” said Tavern owner Jeff Webster.
Zow is trying to remain positive and motivational for his players.
“I have to practice what I preach now and it is harder than I ever thought it would be. We have to move on, and we have to be a positive light in these men’s lives,” said Zow.
Hughes says that the community plans to show extra support in Friday night’s game.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News