UPDATE: Dylan McQueen will not play tonight for South Pittsburg after being cleared to play.
A former Scottsboro (Ala.) star football player, who was arrested in June along with three other teenagers and charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and theft of property will be allowed to suit up and play for South Pittsburg tonight.
Dylan McQueen, 17, transferred to South Pittsburg the first week of the fall semester and has been cleared by the TSSAA to play this season for the Pirates, beginning tonight against rival Marion County.
Prior to the incident McQueen had played his entire varsity career at Scottsboro High and was one of the Wildcats leading scorers. He will now play his senior season at South Pittsburg.
"His mother enrolled him in school and they were very up front about what had happened," South Pittsburg principal Danny Wilson said. "I called (Marion County school superintendent) Mark Griffith and asked if there is a policy against the kid taking part in extracurricular activities. He said so long as he's cleared by the TSSAA, there is no school policy against it because the charges did not happen at any county schools. That was all we needed.
"We're aware of what he's been charged with. But it's not my job to decide his guilt or innocence. My job is to do what's best for this kid, or any kid, that is enrolled in school here. The kid and his mother came here looking for a second chance."
On June 22, McQueen, along with Jallen Hammonds,16, Tyson Woods, 16, and Hector Guevara, 18, all of Scottsboro, were arrested by Jackson County (Ala.) authorities for a home invasion of a Pisgah (Ala.) home.
According to TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress, the state's high school sports governing body does not prohibit student-athletes from competing after having been charged with a crime.
"That is not our jurisdiction," Childress said. "Those are issues that are left up to school administrators and county school directors to decide. So long as the student-athlete has enrolled properly at the school, we don't get into off-the-field issues.
"For us, this particular student-athlete is eligible to play by our guidelines, so the rest is up to the administration at the school. We have no authority to step in for any off-the-field matters."
Updated at 7:53 p.m. to reflect Dylan McQueen will not play tonight for South Pittsburg.