Janesville82°

Foul called on sports team

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
January 24, 2008
— At least one Janesville high school sports team might forfeit games and possibly conference standings and awards, after team members were found to have violated WIAA rules.

Team members received “compensation” for appearing in a “promotional advertisement,” according to a Janesville School District news release. Doing so violates rules of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association.


The district is considering appealing the ruling.


The news release does not state what team or teams were involved or when the violations occurred. District officials did not return numerous phone calls before The Janesville Gazette’s deadline this morning.


A WIAA official confirmed the sanctions but said the WIAA defers to the school district in releasing such information.


The athletes involved “did not knowingly violate this rule,” according to the news release. However, the WIAA determined that a violation occurred.


The WIAA is requiring that:


-- The team forfeit games/contests in which the ineligible athletes were involved. It was not clear for how long those athletes were ineligible.


-- Conference or tournament standings be adjusted, if warranted.


-- Team and individual awards be returned, if warranted.


School board member Tim Cullen said he received a memo about the infraction a couple weeks ago but couldn’t recall the details.


“The violation, as I recall, seemed rather inadvertent and not intentionally trying to create problems or make money or whatever,” Cullen said. “From my recollection, it seemed a rather minor set of actions to result in teams forfeiting games.”


WIAA rules state:


“A student may not accept, receive and/or direct to another, any cash or merchandise awards for achievement in athletics … Rules further prevent athletes from receiving compensation or benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use of name, picture and/or personal appearance as an athlete. This includes receiving free and/or reduced rates on equipment, apparel, camps/clinics/instruction and competitive opportunities that are not identical for all other participants.


“A student may not be identified as an athlete, provide endorsement as an athlete, or appear as an athlete in the promotion of a commercial/advertisement and/or profit-making event, item, plan or service.”


The Janesville Gazette will update this story on its Web site, www.gazettextra.com, if district officials provide details later today.



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