Home > Community, Guthrie Football > Watkins urges fans not to attend OSSAA meeting

Watkins urges fans not to attend OSSAA meeting

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It’s not lip service when Guthrie coaches, and for that matter opposing coaches and school personnel  talk about the loyal following Guthrie has for their sports teams home and away.

Guthrie's offensive line (Blake Belcher, Hayden Seifert, Cooper Davis, Malachai Galbraith and Evan Plagg) show off the all black uniforms following the game with Southeast. Photo Courtesy of Beth Seifert.

Head football coach Rafe Watkins especially knows that to be the case and is why he asking fans and the BlueJay community not to attend the appeal hearing at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association on Wednesday morning.

Members of the football team will also not be in attendance.

Watkins said it will make everything less stressful if we just let the Board of Directors “do it’s thing.” 

Guthrie Sports Page will be in attendance and will be updating throughout the morning and day.

The OSSAA has ruled that a current member of the Guthrie football team has a dual residency issue. If upheld, Guthrie, who is currently ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, will be forced to forfeit eight of their 10 wins this season and thus – would miss the playoffs.

“The OSSAA has made a decision that we disagree with, and we plan to appeal their decision on the forfeit of the games,” Guthrie Superintendent Terry Simpson told Guthrie Sports Page.

The board consists of 14 members, but Simpson, who is the NW Quadrant, Division I member will not be allowed to vote. Guthrie would need to receive seven votes to over turn the decision(s). If a tie were to occur in the voting it would result in a status quo and the penalties would remain in place.

Guthrie administration, coaches and players remain optimistic about the future and the playoffs, but unless the OSSAA reverses its decision Wednesday, the fate of the Class 5A playoffs could depend on Guthrie’s resolve to challenge the decision in court.

Before the OSSAA ruling, Guthrie was 9-0 and just won the district title for the third time in the past five seasons.

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  1. vf
    November 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I cannot sit by and let time just run out on the Bluejays. Waiting for OSSAA to change its mind on Wednesday is a very bad move. The playoffs are on Friday. You should have the School attorneys filing an injunction lawsuit right now, TODAY, in Logan County. The OSSAA is most likely not going to change its mind (can you imagine the foul-play that El Reno will cry if they do and knock them out of the playoffs 48 hours before the game). The only hope is to have legal action filed right away. And, that puts pressure on the OSSAA to know that if they do not change their minds, a judge may do it for them. By waiting until Wednesday, you will not have time on Thursday to get to a courthouse and make a difference. A judge will tell you you are too late to get a hearing and make it happen. Why are you waiting? You have a good case for getting a judge to rule in your favor. Granted, The Guthrie Superintendent is on the Board of Directors at OSSAA and does not want to encourage students/parents/schools to sue the OSSAA, but that is a conflict of interest as to the football team who needs him to step up now. Why are you wating? It will be like getting to the 5 yard line, with no timeouts and little time on the clock in the fourth quarter…You saw how that turned out for Kansas State. Same fate awaits your football team unless you act by filing a lawsuit today!

  2. Darrell
    November 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    What is 2nd penalty? What is the unkown? Would the OSSAA jump out there and make a decision without cause?

  3. steve
    November 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    VF, before any judge will intervene, all administrative steps must be exhausted. The board must be given the opportunity to correct the error. I feel confident that all contingencies are be planned for and will be acted upon timely.

    I have spoken to people from all over this state, and an almost unanimous consensus is that the OSSAA is over-reacting, and trying to send a message to other schools through Guthrie.

    In speaking with people I have learned of at least a half dozen situations where there is a clear attempt to manipulate residency, and none of them are being acted upon by the OSSAA. For example, in Seminole as we speak, a young man is living in a house rented for him by his parents, while they live in Noble, and own a business and work in Norman. The kid lives in Seminole M-F, and then goes “home” to Noble each weekend.

    I have a major problem with selective enforcement. Eligiblity issues should be cleared before the season starts, and once cleared should be good for the run of the season. No complaint should even be investigated unless the person making the allegations has the courage to sign his or her name.

    Let’s hope the OSSAA board has the commitment to fairness to correct this error.

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