Arlington High School has been required to forfeit a number of wins by some of its sports teams during the 2011-2012 school year, a news release from the school issued Wednesday, Dec. 12, says.
The forfeitures result from the recently discovered fact that several student athletes who competed for Arlington interscholastic teams last school year were academically ineligible to compete under Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, the release from Superintendent Kathleen Bodie says.
The release does not mention Edward "Ted" Dever, the director of athletics who has been on paid administrative leave since late August, but it says that an investigation by Rob DiLoreto, the acting athletic director, led to discovery of ineligible players.
In all, 12 teams included ineligible players and eight of these teams have had to forfeit winning games. The number of wins and the sports involved were not provided, but in response to a request from YourArlington, the superintendent has provided the list, which is below.
Kathy Fennelly, a former School Committee member, commented to YourArlington on Dec. 13:
"Determining who are eligible athletes is a key part of the Athletic Director's job."
Dever's attorney, Richard D. Grundy of Boston, was quoted in a Dec. 13 Boston Globe story as saying that Bodie did not raise the 2011-12 forfeited games at a Dec. 4 hearing. The story is here >>
"Academic eligibility to play a sport should be verified by the athletic department by checking the grades of student athletes each term," the release says. "While checking the grades of student athletes following completion of the first term this fall, the acting athletic director learned that there may have been academic eligibility issues last year."
The resulting investigation, the release says, also revealed that some foreign exchange students who competed for Arlington last year did so without required MIAA waivers.
While certain team victories in the affected sports must be forfeited, this action does not affect the records of individual athletes, the release says, the awarding of varsity letters or students' ability to refer to their participation in these sports when they apply for admission to college.
Bodie said in the release, "These forfeitures are unfortunate, but they should not adversely reflect on any of our student athletes or coaches. The discipline, effort, and teamwork that they put into their season will continue to reflect well on them and the high school."
She has declined to respond directly to a request for comment about a Boston.com news story published Tuesday, Dec. 11, that says Dever is fighting an attempt to fire him. The claims were made to Boston.com Grundy.
That story says Dever faces a criminal investigation, but no one has said publicly what the details are or whether there are charges.
Superintendent Bodie, interim Principal Mary Villano and DiLoreto, the release says, "are committed to preventing a recurrence of this unfortunate situation. To that end, Arlington High School has reviewed the enforcement of its verification procedures in the athletic department and is establishing a system of checks and balances to ensure that those procedures are enforced and that only academically eligible athletes participate in interscholastic sports."
Boston.com quoted Grundy as saying that one of the more substantial reasons the school district gave for removing Dever from the position was his alleged failure to order uniforms in a timely fashion for the girls' soccer team in the fall, which forced the team to wear T-shirts for its first two games.
But Grundy said, according to Boston.com, that the girls did have uniforms for the start of the season and that no one from Bodie’s office called the coach of the soccer team to see whether the allegations were true.
The report says that, at a Dec. 4, meeting, Bodie did not raise the criminal investigation into Dever as a reason for the move to terminate him, according to Grundy.
Read the Dec. 11 Boston.com story here >>
Boys' varsity soccer – forfeit all wins for entire season
Boys' junior varsity soccer – forfeit all wins for entire season
Winter 2011 – 2012:
Varsity wrestling – forfeit first three matches
Varsity baseball – forfeit three games
Boys' varsity tennis – forfeit all wins for entire season
Freshman baseball – forfeit all wins beginning April 10
Girls' junior varsity lacrosse – forfeit all wins for first 12 games
Girls' junior varsity softball – forfeit all wins for entire season
In addition, ineligible student athletes participated in the following sports, but there were no wins that could be forfeited:
Boys' varsity indoor track
Girls' varsity indoor track
Apart from the teams and number of wins -- which remains unclear -- Bodie declined to respond to a third question: What specifically did athletics director Dever do wrong?
This story was first published at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, and was updated that evening as well as Dec. 13 and 14.