PANAMA CITY, FL- Newschannel 7 has learned the Bay High football program is forfeiting its entire last season because it used an ineligible player.
Bay High school principal Billy May says the program will forfeit the three games it won last season after administrators found an academically ineligible player was allowed to take the field.
The player should not have been ineligible after failing at least one class, and possibly more. The student was scheduled to make up a class that he had failed to bring his grade point average to the necessary 2.0.
But May says a guidance counselor at the school altered the player's transcripts to indicate he passed the make-up course before the class begun. Then the student failed to re-take the class, and played football anyway.
May says administrators found the error last week. They have since reported the situation to district athletic director Kirk Harrell, and the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Bay has notified the schools they played in football that they forfeit the three wins from last season. Bay beat Liberty County, Walton, and Suwanee to go 3-7.
May says this incident was just an error by the guidance counselor, and not an intentional act of cheating.
Newschannel 7 spoke with head coach Jimmy Longerbeam Wednesday afternoon and he said quote, "We think everything is being done above board, we've been proactive once it was brought to our attention, there's nothing like that [cheating] going on at bay."
May also said they looked at the other 12 or so students who used the forgiveness program and did not find any other instances.
This investigation is not over though, the FHSAA investigating and Newschannel 7 will continue to follow this story.