California school wins to clinch playoff berth, then forfeits to send defeated foe to postseason

California school wins to clinch playoff berth, then forfeits to send defeated foe to postseason

Football

California school wins to clinch playoff berth, then forfeits to send defeated foe to postseason

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South Pasadena earned its first playoff berth in 11 years, but then a final game forfeit took it away — South Pasadena High School

South Pasadena earned its first playoff berth in 11 years, but then a final game forfeit took it away — South Pasadena High School

A Southern California school was plunged into general outrage after its football team rolled to a winner-take-all, playoff-clinching victory on Friday night, then was forced to forfeit the victory because of to-be-disclosed rule violations.

As reported by the South Pasadena Review, La Canada Valley Sun and the San Gabriel Tribune Review, South Pasadena topped La Canada in the regular-season football finale for both squads, walking away with a 21-3 victory. Yet, immediately after that win South Pasadena instead forfeited the result, sending the very team it had just defeated, La Canada, on to the Southern Section Central Division playoffs in South Pasadena’s place.

South Pasadena Principal Janet Anderson admitted a California Interscholastic Federation rules violation occurred. After initially refusing to offers specifics of the violation, she said in an email to parents of football players on Monday that there was“evidence”  of a violation of the CIF-SS Blue Book Rule 512. That rules prohibits teams from videotaping or taking still pictures of an opponents practice without permission. The email did not specify who made the recording.

The Review cited social media giving a rather detailed account of what precipitated the forfeit.

On social media sites Saturday are reports that Nick Konrad, the brother of South Pasadena High coach Marty Konrad, was allegedly videotaping a La Cañada High football practice earlier in the week. La Canada officials reportedly filed the complaint with South Pasadena administrators, who immediately took action, looking into the issue and not allowing their head coach to be on the sideline against the Spartans.

It appears that the students and crowd at Friday’s game already knew the backstory, with La Canada fans reportedly chanting “CIF, CIF …” late in their team’s loss.

The decision on the forfeit was made by the principals in the Rio Hondo League and supported by South Pasadena’s administration.

“The league made the decision and we honored (it),”South Pasadena athletic director Greg Luna said. “Administrators clearly thought they have enough supporting evidence for the league to warrant the decision. We respect that decision. There are other implications still on our end.”

A parent of a South Pasadena player, Mark Wilson, said Konrad denied the allegations in conversation with him.

“I have asked coach Konrad directly if he or his brother taped La Canada’s practice,” Wilson said. “He completely denied it. So either coach Konrad is a complete fabricator or the La Canada principal has jumped to a conclusion based on limited information.”

Of course, no part of this had anything to do with the players, who earned South Pasadena’s first postseason berth in more than a decade. After receiving a letter from Anderson thanking them for their support, South Pasadena football parents had a parents only meeting on Sunday night and are demanding answers from both the school and the league.

There’s no word that those answers have arrived, though even those will likely not help salve the open wounds of missing out on a long sought-after playoff return.

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California school wins to clinch playoff berth, then forfeits to send defeated foe to postseason
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