Gatesville Hornets to Face UIL Investigation

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GATESVILLE, Texas — The Gatesville Hornets are one of the biggest surprise teams of the 2017 season, with a record of 7-0,2-0, but that may all be coming to an abrupt stop. The District 13-4A Executive Committee will meet in Lampasas on Friday to discuss the eligibility of six Gatesville players for violating UIL rules.

The meeting was first reported by the Waco Tribune-Herald.

The investigation stems from an incident that involved the resignation of a Gatesville Junior High Coach during the summer. According to KXXV News 25 in Waco, the coach was accused of giving performance-enhancing drugs to a student.

The District Committee is made up one school administrator from each team in the district. The committee is in charge of a variety of decisions that involves their district such as rule enforcement, dispute settlements, and game schedules. The committee also oversees eligibility questions and they hold original jurisdiction within the district.

Gatesville ISD Superintendent Eric Penrod didn’t hold back while speaking on the investigation.

“There was one member of our district, one of the six teams in our district, that actually said, ‘If y’all weren’t good (at football), we wouldn’t be having this meeting,'” Pendon told the Waco-Tribune Herald. “The fact that y’all are good (at football), then we’re having it.”

Penrod continued.

“As a district, we sought the proper authorities,” he said. “We sought out the UIL, the TEA and the SBEC, which is the certification side of that job for the individual that was responsible for it. We also turned the case over to the authorities, local law enforcement on day one. … What’s new is there was a team right prior to us playing them that said, ‘I think we need to look into this further.’”

The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m. and will determine whether Gatesville has violated Section 50 (a)(4) of the UIL Constitution, which uses the specific language of  “failing to comply with applicable state laws regarding extracurricular activities.” Per the rulebook, the alleged violation requires severe penalty or violations of rules that “carry a specific penalty.”

The Hornets are scheduled to play on the road that night at China Spring, in what will be pivotal district game that can determine playoff seedings. The Hornets will also be on the road the following week for huge game with fellow undefeated district rival Waco La Vega.

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