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Ohio


Judge orders a reorder of the Ohio high school playoffs
McGonagle says a forfeit is a forfeit when it comes to the complicated point system of high school playoffs.
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

Two Northeast Ohio high schools will be playing post-season football this weekend thanks to a court order this afternoon. And two others teams will be staying home. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more the fight over forfeits and computer points.

SCHULTZE high school playoff dispute

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Cleveland Heights won a temporary restraining order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association in a court case that gets deep into the intricacies of a computer system used to figure out which teams make the playoffs.

The system awards points not only for each team’s win- loss record, but for the win-loss records of the teams they play.

Cleveland Heights’ complaint centers on a forfeited game between two other teams.  John F. Kennedy gave up its win over John Adams after the Cleveland Metropolitan School District ruled one of its players was academically ineligible. That was according to Cleveland’s academic standards, which are tougher than the state athletic association’s.

And the state association said it would not count the forfeit in John Adams win column.  Cleveland Heights had  beaten John Adams, but without the forefeit, Cleveland Heights didn’t get enough playoff points from John Adams record.

But Judge Richard McMonagle overruled the association.

Kristin Hughes is athletic director for Cleveland Heights. She’s happy for her kids, and those at Mentor – who will also make the playoffs thanks to this decision. But she’st saddened that the decision knocks two other teams – Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood – out.

Hughes: “For schools like Mayfield and Edgewood, who, you know I’m sure they’ve been practicing all week and getting ready and getting excited, my heart really goes out to them. And again, I mean that. What we were really hoping for and still what I think would’ve been the fairest solution was to try to do some sort of a play-in game.”

Hughes acknowledges  that a “play-in “ would delay the playoffs for a week, but says that given the lousy weather, most teams haven’t had much practice time anyway.

The Athletic Association issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying it continues to work with its legal team to figure out what to do next.

The playoffs begin Friday night.

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