Mission Viejo, ranked No. 16 in the current High School Football America 100, went from an 8-0 record to 4-4 on Monday. School officials self-reported to the CIF Southern Section that the team used an ineligible player in its first four games against Bakersfield Liberty, Santa Margarita, La Habra and Villa Park.
Here’s a statement from Mission Viejo High School principal Tricia Osborne:
“On Friday afternoon, MVHS administration discovered that the football team had inadvertently played an ineligible player during the first four games of the 2018-2019 season. After investigating, it was discovered that due to an error in paperwork submission, the player in question, was in fact, not eligible. MVHS immediately contacted (the CIF-Southern Section) to self-report the error on Friday, October 5th. Per CIF guidelines, the school will forfeit the four games that the ineligible athlete participated in. The player in question is (a Saddleback Valley Unified School District) student, not a transfer from another district. We are committed to abiding by all rules and regulations and are analyzing our current protocols to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”
So that leaves two big questions: 1) How does this affect the Diablos when it comes to the upcoming CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs? 2) How does affect the team’s national ranking in the High School Football America 100?
Here are the answers:
- Mission Viejo now is 4-4 overall and 2-0 in the South Coast League with two league games left against San Clemente and Tesoro. If MV finishes in the top two in the league, the Diablos will qualify for the playoffs. They would need a .500-or-better overall record to be eligible for at-large berth consideration, if they don’t finish among the league’s top two teams.
- As far as the national rankings, we’re still gathering fact. Earlier this year, Mater Dei forfeited its first game for an ineligible player, but it didn’t affect the No. 1 Monarchs’ national ranking because we determined that the player didn’t impact the outcome of the game. As soon as we understand all of the facts, we’ll make a decision on the Diablos’ national ranking. As of now, Mission Viejo is still ranked No. 16 in the HSFA 100.