DUBOIS, Pa. – Because of an administrative error, the DuBois Central Catholic softball team must forfeit nine games this season.
That was the directive from the PIAA District 9 Committee after it was informed by DCC that paperwork on one of its players who transferred to the school this year hadn’t been filed properly.
Going into action against Curwensville Tuesday, April 30, DCC would have been 14-0 after beating Cranberry, 4-3, Saturday but now stood 5-9.
According to the District 9 Committee, the school reported to the Committee that paperwork on the player wasn’t filed at the start of the 2018-19 school year. When this error was discovered, DCC submitted the paperwork and self-reported the information to the Committee. The player was deemed to be eligible to play as of Thursday, April 25, but the District 9 Committee imposed a punishment, per PIAA guidelines, that DCC would have to forfeit the games the player had played in prior to April 25.
That number turned out to be nine, which could cause an issue in seeding the District 9 playoffs.
DCC was one of only two District 9 Class 1A softball team to have not lost a game on the field through action Monday, April 29 – A-C Valley was the other one – and most likely would have been the No. 1 seed in the upcoming District 9 playoffs. But now, the Lady Cardinals, who will still be eligible for the postseason, will now most likely be the sixth seed in what could be a six, seven or eight-team tournament.
District 9 softball chairman Pete Grecco, the Athletic Director at Brockway, believes that could negatively impact the tournament if one of the best teams is a lower seed, and he said the District 9 Committee has had a lot of discussion about that and continues to have that discussion.
According to multiple District 9 Committee members, the District 9 committee originally believed only a couple of games were going to have to be forfeited by DCC but found out that number was actually nine, which could lead to another discussion of how teams are seeded in the postseason – District 9 usually uses overall record or a power-rating formula (wins are a big factor in the power-rating formula) to determine seeding as opposed to a committee-approaching to seeding like the WPIAL or the NCAA men’s basketball committee uses.
Complicating things for the District 9 Committee is the fact it placed DCC on athletic probation at its April 9, 2018, meeting for a similar infraction. At the time, the probation was supposed to last from March 23, 2018, through December 31, 2019, and was implemented because the school failed to submit PIAA transfer forms for several student-athletes over a three-year period in a variety of sports. The athletic director and principal at the time of those violations have since changed at the school.
There are ongoing discussions at the District level as to how to best help DCC rectify these administrative issues going forward, according to multiple District 9 Committee members.