Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 7, 2013

OSSAA closes Sequoyah case

The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association's long-standing investigation into Sequoyah athletics ended on Wednesday.

According to a release sent out by Sequoyah Schools, the OSSAA closed halted its probe and did not levy any more sanctions.

The OSSAA board unanimously approved during its February meeting to accept an internal audit compiled by Sequoyah. The audit included recent policy changes, such as ensuring student athletes complete the correct forms upon enrollment, guaranteeing all coaches are trained on athletic rules, as well as other preventive measures.

“We choose to be a member of the association and understand we must follow their rules, as do our coaches, parents, students and community,” Superintendent Leroy Qualls said. “I think the cloud has lifted at Sequoyah High School now that this investigation is over, and we are grateful our school and students can move forward.”

The OSSAA began its investigation into Sequoyah's football team in late October, when it found the Indians had violated summer-camp policies. Following that, Sequoyah's football team was forced to vacate its nine regular-season victories while missing out on the Class 3A playoffs. Sequoyah head coach Brent Scott was also relived of his duties as the Indians' head coach.

In compliance with the OSSAA, Sequoyah athletes who were found in violation of residence eligibility will sit out individual games, and students who attended summers camps will pay the school back or set up payment plans to repay the funds by May 2014.

“You can see in their report everything was not pretty," OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said of Sequoyah, "but they are making changes and do want to be a good member, putting policies and procedures in place.”

Also at Sequoyah, the Daily Press learned through a source that football and wrestling coach Dewayne Hammer was relived of his duties on Tuesday. A Cherokee Nation official later confirmed the news, but declined to specify why Hammer was let go.

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