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HS team forfeits postseason for using 'borrowed' illegal player

Potter's House Christian Academy of Jacksonville, Florida, was made to forfeit games for use of a player from another high school. National Christian Academy of Fort Washington, Maryland, regains its undefeated record due to forfeiture.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One should ask first before borrowing even though the answer would probably be "no."  In cases like what is below, one should not consider borrowing at all but just go with your own!

Today, on March 1, it was announced that Potter's House Christian Academy (PHCA) of Jacksonville, Florida, was made to forfeit two girls high school basketball games in the recently completed National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Tournament which was held in Dayton, Tennessee.

The forfeitures resulted in National Christian Academy (NCA) of Fort Washington, Maryland, regaining its undefeated record (29-0 including the forfeit) as it had lost to Potter's House 58-53 in the event semi-final.  Potter's House then went on to lose 75-36 to Riverdale Baptist in the championship game.

Aside from the on court issues, the biggest question is what are we trying to teach our young people today?  This use of an illegal player from another school (whose season was complete) negates all ethical teaching and the "play fair" doctrine.  Student-athletes are asked to compete hard but play within the rules.

Both the coaches and school administration of PHCA need to be held accountable for these improper actions.  Sadly, the vast majority of upstanding non-public schools get tarred by incidents like this and make public schools weary of competing with them on the playing field.

Can we be surprised someone might try this in an era of win at all costs of integrity?

There is more to playing the sport than just winning and losing and this is not being stressed enough by the media and those involved in all levels of the sport.  The attitude that you cannot be a truly great player unless you have a championship ring seems to become more prevalent every day.  Finishing second is often made to make those players feel like they didn't win a game that season.

Conversely, special props need to go out to Bartram Trail High School (located near Jacksonville, Florida) for conducting a speedy investigation into the matter and informing NACA of the violation committed (perhaps unwittingly by the player given Bartram's season was over) by one of its student athletes.  Bartram Trail is a public school and not otherwise involved with NACA.

Sadly, as we are now in an era where physical school security cannot be over emphasized, perhaps event organizers will need to strengthen their standards of insuring that players in their events are fully eligible to compete and are who they say they are.   Penalties for violations such as what is outlined below should be severe as the integrity of the game must be preserved.

Statement forwarded to NCA Head Coach Henry Anglin from Dave Sekura, NACA Executive Director:

"The athletic director at Bartram Trail, Ben Windle, confirmed to our office today that [name of student omitted by editor] played for Potter's House at the NACA Division 1 girls tournament February 24-26.  She is fully enrolled at Bartram Trail High School, Jacksonville, FL, in good standing.

This is a violation of the NACA eligibility policy which states that all participants must be enrolled in the participating school attending the NACA event, and eligible.  Therefore the NACA is vacating the two Potter's House wins against Carolina Prep, NC, February 24, and National Christian Academy, MD, February 25."