MEMPHIS, Tenn. — TSSAA has confirmed that Freedom Prep Academy is being forced to forfeit the first seven games of its season after starting 8-0 and playing as one of the top teams in Class 1A due to an ineligible player.
The Eagles had been dominant, outscoring opponents 353-19 through 8 weeks, for a 42-point average margin of victory per game.
As a charter school, Freedom Prep is unable to add a student-athlete that has played inside Memphis city limits within the last 12 months. TSSAA says the ineligible athlete played football at Fairley High School during the 2018 season.
Richard McWhirter, TSSAA Assistant Executive Director, said the organization regrets having to strip prep athletes of wins that they worked hard for.
“You never want to rule someone ineligible where teams have to forfeit games,” McWhirter said. “But it’s also the school’s responsibility to make sure that all those athletes are eligible. And if this paperwork would have been turned in correctly, it probably would have been caught at the beginning of the season and not occurred.”
TSSAA informed the school of their violation and penalty on Monday.
The school is being fined $700.