Calif. football team forfeits seven games, will miss playoffs due to an ineligible player

The Oxnard (Calif.) football team forced to forfeit seven wins from its 2017 football campaign due to an ineligible player Saturday, one day before it was expected to be named a top seed in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 playoffs.

“It’s crushing,” Oxnard coach Jon Mack said Saturday afternoon, “and crushing would be a nice adjective.”

Oxnard was ranked No. 2 in the division in this week’s poll.

The player did not play in Friday night’s 47-17 win over Pacifica, so Oxnard will officially end its season 1-9.

“We feel horribly for our seniors and the entire OHS school and football community,” Oxnard Principal Richard Urias said.

As a result, Pacifica (2-8) replaced its Gonzalez Road rival as the Pacific View League second-place finisher and automatic postseason qualifier.

“I feel horrible for the Oxnard kids,” Pacifica coach Mike Moon said. “I know a lot of those kids and they are amazing kids. On the field, they deserve to be in the playoffs, but unfortunately these things happen.”

Oxnard was informed by CIF-SS on Friday afternoon that it had received photographic evidence that called into question a transfer’s verified change of residency.

“On Friday at approximately 2 p.m., Oxnard received an inquiry from CIF about a football athlete and a verified change of residency,” Urias said in a statement.

“We have worked continuously late Friday and Saturday morning with the family to gather the requested information.

“CIF gave us a deadline of noon Saturday to complete this process. Despite our best efforts, we were not able to get enough information from the family to satisfy the concern raised by CIF. … We are continuing to investigate this matter.”

Oxnard was given until Saturday at noon to prove the player’s family had not returned to its previous residence.

“You have to move with permanent intent,” CIF-SS spokesman Thom Simmons said. “You have to be out of whatever residence you moved from for 12 calendar months. If you’re back in your previous residence, it makes you in violation of the bylaws.”

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