Parents and lawmakers weigh in on Gator disqualification
By Valenica Wickervwicker@abcnews4.com
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) - Much like the players, parents of Goose Creek Gators are feeling the pain of the team being disqualified from the state playoffs.
"It's almost a loss for words. It's almost like I can't comprehend it," said Pamela Newton, star player Tramel Terry's mother.
Newton says the disqualification came as a shock Tuesday afternoon.
"Everybody's just devastated," said Newton. "It's like the last game was Friday. So, we didn't take our pictures. We weren't prepared mentally for it to be over. And, no one really understands why.
Wednesday's appeal denial was even more of a shock.
"It doesn't make any sense to punish the kids for something an adult clerical did," said Antonio Rhodes, Andre' Rhodes father.
"At the same time these kids worked so hard to get in this position then all the sudden you have got a panel that can take that dream away from a child."
The decision has caught statewide attention, even from lawmakers.
Rep. Bakari Sellers says he is looking into possible oversight for South Carolina High School League.
"I'm not saying to abolish it or get rid of it.," said Rep. Sellers. "At the end of the day they do govern programs which draw great revenue but, even more importantly they govern programs which help mold and shape our student athletes all across the state."
Troy Linen, Rashard Alston's dad, says the championship game would have meant more than a few touchdowns for some players. There was hope of scouts showing up to the game.
"You have a lot of single family and hard-working families that just can't afford to send their kids to school, so this is one of the ways that they can do it. And, to go through this like it has been going is just a kick in the chest right now."
Sellers says he hopes to speak with superintendents and coaches about how the league operates and discuss possible changes.