“We have asked for an immediate hearing,” SMHS principal Dr. Tom McCullough said in a release earlier today. “We stand by the information we submitted [to the TSSAA] regarding the student transfer and believe him to be eligible.”
The TSSAA, after sending two staff members to the school last Thursday declared that the player was ineligible based on the fact that he did not live in the Signal Mountain High School district.
However, the grounds for Signal’s appeal are based on Section 13-B in the TSSAA handbook that states that a student is ineligible unless he resides in the territory of the school to which he is transferring. The TSSAA section states that a territory is the “geographic boundaries and bus routes of the area served by the school as established by the local board of education.”
The student in question was granted a hardship by the Hamilton County Department of Education.
“The local board of education has established the territory for this student to include Signal Mountain,” McCullough said. “If the TSSAA maintains that board-approved hardships do not establish ‘territory,’ then there are numerous student athletes in Hamilton County and across Tennessee whose eligibility may be questionable.”
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...