JACKSON - Jackson Academy's football team must forfeit its first two victories of the season because of an ineligible player.
The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools notified JA last week about an issue regarding the eligibility of a member of the varsity football team. The student had transferred from a MAIS school this summer. The issue pertained to the "Bonafide Move Rule'' which is required for eligibility, and must have been successfully completed by the family before the first competition. JA immediately investigated and self reported its findings to the MAIS. The findings revealed that the home had been purchased, but the family had been unable to complete the move in a timely manner. The MAIS ruled that the "Bonafide Move Rule" had been violated and issued sanctions. The sanctions are forfeits to Northeast Lauderdale High School and St. George's Independent School in Memphis, a one-year probation for the football program and a $500 fine.
The MAIS acknowledged the honesty and integrity of JA in reporting and that there was no illegal recruiting intent.
"Jackson Academy self reported an eligibility issue understanding the consequences of that disclosure and is a great example of the program's integrity we have grown to expect from our hallmark schools," MAIS Executive Director Shane Blanton said.
"Jackson Academy deeply regrets this most unfortunate occurrence, but respectfully accepts the sanctions imposed by the MAIS," JA president and CEO Peter Jernberg said.
The player involved was a reserve that had limited playing time. He played against Northeast Lauderdale and St. George's, but did not play in JA's 35-0 victory over Magnolia Heights School last week.
JA, ranked No. 1 in The Clarion-Ledger MAIS Class AAA poll, is now 1-2 and visits Heritage Academy in Columbus Friday. The Raiders are still eligible for the MAIS, Class AAA, Division I playoffs.
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