Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 24, 2012

Sequoyah players, coach ruled ineligible

Sequoyah has been dealt a crushing blow just days before their biggest game of the season.

Eight Sequoyah football players and a coach have been ruled ineligible for Friday night’s football game at Hilldale, according to a press release from the school on Tuesday afternoon.

The infractions, levied by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, come a month after a Sequoyah softball player was ruled ineligible by the OSSAA.

“We are fully cooperating with the association to resolve any eligibility questions that may remain and look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible for our students,” said Marcus Crittenden, athletic director at Sequoyah Schools. “We want to make it clear that none of the students were at fault in these alleged infractions.”

The infraction stems from a violation of a rule governing summer camp participation. According to the OSSAA rulebook, athletes are not allowed to participate in individual camps where expenses are paid for by the players' "school, by school personnel or by any booster group or organization associated with the school, or by any non-family member."

An appeal of the OSSAA’s decision will be heard Nov. 7 at the OSSAA’s monthly board of directors meeting in Oklahoma City.

In the release from Cherokee Nation, the coach who was suspended was not identified. But the Tahlequah Daily Press learned Tuesday evening that Sequoyah head coach Brent Scott was the one who had been handed the suspension.

Also omitted from the release were names of players.

“Since they are minors, we are not releasing names,” said Julie Hubbard, Cherokee Nation’s communications supervisor.

However, a source told the Tahlequah Daily Press late Tuesday afternoon that among the eight players suspended are quarterback Brayden Scott, wide receiver/outside linebacker Niko Hammer, defensive tackle Greyden Elrod, reserve tailback/linebacker Karter Woodruff, and offensive tackle/reserve defensive end Mvhayv Locust.

Scott, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback who is committed to the University of Memphis, has completed 59.6 percent (90 of 151) of his passes for 1,379 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. He also holds the school record for touchdown passes.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Scott said on his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. In a separate tweet, he followed that up with, “Don’t worry about things you can’t control.”

Hammer, the Indians’ leading receiver this season, has caught 30 passes for 410 yards and eight touchdowns. Woodruff, the Indians’ second-leading rusher in 2012, has compiled 459 yards and seven touchdowns on 40 carries.

On defense, Woodruff is Sequoyah’s leading tackler, with 29 tackles, 4-1/2 tackles for loss, 2-1/2 sacks and a fumble recovery. Elrod has chipped in with a team-leading six sacks and 13-1/2 tackles for loss. Colbert has added 10 tackles and four tackles for loss.

All of the players ruled ineligible have played in at least six games this season. The Indians are currently 7-1 overall and 4-0 in District 3A-7.

It didn't take long for the Indians' opponent this week to catch wind of the penalties handed out at Sequoyah.

“With the way things are with social media it doesn’t take long for it to get out and by then word had spread,” Hilldale coach Chad Kirkhart said. “It’s really a different kind of situation than we’ve ever had... You’re still playing for district, and so are they, so you’ve got to focus on what you’ve got to do. That doesn’t change.”

Leroy Qualls, superintendent of Sequoyah Schools, said officials don’t yet know whether any of this season’s games would be forfeited.

“There’s a possibility, but I hate to say that before facts come out,” Qualls said.

The ineligibility of Sequoyah football players surfaced nearly a month after the school was forced to vacate its 2011 slow-pitch state championship. That came on the heels of the denial of a retroactive appeal for eligibility by Sequoyah softball/basketball player Kelsey Leach.

Qualls told the Daily Press that eligibility issues at Sequoyah popped up before the current school year started.

“From what we can tell, this has been looked at back in the early summer and late spring,” Qualls said. “It was already in the process of being looked at when (I) took the job in the summer.”

The football suspensions sent shockwaves throughout Cherokee Nation, with Principal Chief Bill John Baker weighing in via Todd Hembree, the Cherokee Nation attorney general.

“Chief Baker has instructed my office and the Cherokee Nation to use every resource we have throughout the appeal process,” Hembree said. “The chief and I find it unconscionable that students and families are being punished for the actions of adults who should have followed the rules.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks