(WBIR- Anderson County) A Clinton High School student and University of Tennessee football commit may not be allowed to play his senior year.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, TSSAA, ruled that Jaylond Woods is ineligible to play football at Clinton High School.
Woods said he moved to Clinton from Lenoir City in April this year to live with his mom.
“When I’m out on that field, I just think of one thing and winning,” he said. “And not being able to participate with my team, it just sucks, and it hurts.”
Bernard Childress, executive director for TSSAA, said Woods does not meet the requirement in the bylaws under Article II, Section 12h. The rule states, “There must be a letter submitted by the Principal of the previous school stating the move was not for athletic or disciplinary reasons.”
Bruce Fox, Woods’ attorney, said Greg Boling, the athletic director and assistant principal at Lenoir City High School, sent a letter to TSSAA. He said the letter from Boling stated Woods did not transfer for athletic reasons, but that he had disciplinary issues.
Woods said he was suspended for five days, but he served the sentence.
Childress said in an email to 10News Friday, “We have not received a letter from the principal at Lenoir City. If the principal submits a letter stating the move was not for athletic or disciplinary reasons, he meets the rule and would be eligible.”
The Lenoir City High School principal from last year retired, meaning the new principal would need to write the letter.
We reached out to the principal at Lenoir City but did not hear back from him.
A petition for Woods to play football at Clinton went online Thursday. As of Friday night, the petition already has more than 700 supporters.
“I haven’t had any support like this coming from kids that are my age or a community so it keeps me smiling, and it keeps me going through my daily activities,” Woods said. “Keeps my head up because it overwhelms me to see how much support that I really have.”
Woods said since he is currently ineligible, he is trying to focus on his grades and getting back on the football field.
“It would mean everything,” he said. “I’d probably get down on my knees thanking God, thanking that He gave me another chance.”