Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Eligibility issues pop up in Wilmington

Eligibility issues are popping up again in North Carolina, and this time they do not involve a Mecklenburg County school.

A player from N.C. 4A football champion Wilmington Hoggard was arrested for drug possession over the weekend and gave police an address outside of Wilmington, in the town of Hampstead.

That address is out of the Hoggard district.

Shawn Sidberry's mother lives in Hampstead. She says her son lives in Wilmington with her sister. Both Sidberry's mother and sister told the Wilmington Star News there was no dispute over where the player lives.

But the sister, who lives in Wilmington, does not have legal custody, a requirement that cost South Mecklenburg its season after its quarterback was found ineligible for living in South's district but without a legal guardianship transfer.

A spokesman for the Wilmington Police Department said Sidburry gave the out-of-district Hampstead address to the arresting officer when he was charged with felony possession of ecstasy and misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Rick Strunk, associate executive director of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, told the Star News that these residency questions were not likely to result in the state champions forfeiting any games from their 15-0 season. Sidburry was MVP of the N.C. 4A championship.

Strunk cited an NCHSAA nonresident rule that states if an athlete attended an out-of-district school the previous year, he can remain at that school.
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Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

2 comments:

JAT said...

LW --

The NCHSAA is the root of the problem and until folks wrap their heads around that, nothing will change and we'll continue to have nonsensical "rules."

First reform? Stop sending money to the NCHSAA, they have plenty already.

JAT

Anonymous said...

Clean up the NCHSAA!! Call Rick Strunks bluff on the ruling he gave out. Does it mean he was out of district and allowed to remain out of district. What is good for South Meck. is good for Wilmington. Make them prove the difference. I challenge some of you alumni.