Incident could cause Rams to forfeit victories

Havelock High School self-reported ineligible basketball players to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Thursday evening.

An ineligible player was found on the boys varsity basketball team and the junior varsity girls basketball team.

Havelock High uses software that keeps grades for everyone in the school, and there’s also a component that checks student-athlete eligibility.

The school administrators check athletics eligibility three times a year, and since then, there was a change that was overlooked.

“This time, when we did winter sports, there was a change in the report and we’ve been using it for a few years now,” said Mitch Williams, Havelock High’s athletics director. “We thought it was a minor change, but looking back at it now, it was a big change.

“It was a column that there was a column marking they (athletes) were good rather than saying how many classes they had failed or passed.”

Williams said that two student-athletes were found ineligible after organizing on the software.

“That prompted us to look further and make sure there weren’t any more issues,” Williams said. “The athletic eligibility report that is printed out is what has caused a couple players to play that we found, by accident, were ineligible. We found that today and self-reported it to the state.”

Williams said that he called and emailed the NCHSAA to explain the school’s dilemma, but the offices were closed when the ineligibility was reported.

Havelock’s boys basketball team has a 2-4 record through six games. The JV girls have four victories.

“I’m guessing the state will have us forfeit the wins that we have. That would be four for the JV girls and two for varsity boys,” Williams said.

One of those victories was Tuesday’s Coastal 3A Conference contest against Richlands that the Rams won 70-38.

While Havelock is awaiting response from the athletic association, Williams is hoping this doesn’t affect the rest of the season.

“At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility, computer or not, and I own it,” Williams said.