Allatoona High has been celebrating the school’s first ever football state title since November, basking in the glow of the proverbial high school sporting mountaintop.
Now one Atlanta news network is claiming the Buccaneers used a pair of sherpas to get there.
As reported by Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA, the eligibility of AAAAA All-State selections Russell Halimon (Altoona’s starting running back) and Juanyea Tarver (a starting defensive back) have been called into question. In particular, it’s alleged that the pair don’t even live in Cobb County, which hosts Allatoona High, instead residing in Paulding County.
WAGA’s investigation found both student athletes in Paulding County, with different justifications: Tarver’s father claimed his son’s permanent residence was with his grandmother, while Halimon’s mother admitted the family’s residence in Paulding County, citing a recent move after their lease ran out in Cobb County.
Yet further research by WAGA uncovered discrepancies with both of those stories.
Despite the prospective claims of ineligibility, the Georgia High School Athletic Association is powerless to revoke Allatoona’s state title, because they don’t have the jurisdiction to find the athletes themselves ineligible. Rather, that responsibility belongs with the county school districts themselves, meaning it would be Cobb County’s responsibility to declare their own student athletes ineligible.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cobb County has yet to come forward with such a finding.