Updated Thursday 9 p.m.: LHSAA denies Parkway’s appeal of eligibility ruling

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The LHSAA denied Parkway High School’s appeal of last week’s ruling that the school used an ineligible player Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

According to the ruling, Parkway must forfeit the five wins in which he played — Texarkana, Ark., Bastrop, Booker T. Washington, Captain Shreve and Southwood.

Barring legal action, Parkway will not make the playoffs. Under LHSAA rules, any school that has to forfeit at least a third of its games is ineligible for the playoffs.

A five-member LHSAA “hardship” panel heard the appeal at the LHSAA’s offices. The vote was 5-0 to uphold the ruling.

Parkway, which closes the regular season at Airline Friday, is 7-2 overall and 3-1 in District 1-5A on the field. With the forfeits, the Panthers are officially 2-7 overall and 1-3 in 1-5A.

Bossier Parish Schools released this statement Wednesday afternoon.

“We are disappointed Parkway’s appeal was denied today by the LHSAA, primarily for
our student athletes not being able to finish out the football season and compete in
the playoffs. At this time we are reviewing the LHSAA’s decision and investigating
possible options.”

There were two items on the agenda for Thursday’s Bossier Parish School Board that pertain to the Parkway situation.

“3.05 Request: To Enter Into Executive Session to Discuss Possible Litigation or Other Action Against Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Over Student Eligibility Ruling After Written Demand Pursuant to LA R.S. 42:17(A)(2)”

“3.06 Request: Consider Authorizing Attorney to Pursue Law Suit or Other Legal Action Against LHSAA”

Because a second LHSAA violation has been reported by Parkway, the board decided not to take legal action against the LHSAA at its Thursday meeting, according to a KSLA report. The second violation occurred last spring when an academically ineligible player played in a scrimmage against Alexandria Senior High.

The LHSAA ruled last Wednesday that a freshman player was ineligible under the “bona-fide change of residence” rule. The player in question, who lived in Shreveport and went to Walnut Hill Middle School last school year, played only late in games with other reserves when the Panthers had big leads.

The LHSAA also ruled last week that “the student shall be ineligible until he has attended Parkway High School for one calendar year. Additionally, when he becomes eligible he must sit out the same number of contests he participated in as an ineligible – a scrimmage, a jamboree and five varsity football contests.”

Parkway reached the Class 5A championship game last season. The Panthers played four games on the road after being penalized by the LHSAA for an incident before a 2012 playoff game against Live Oak.