An Oregon high school football team was kept from a berth in the state playoffs by a computing error made by the state athletic association. According to the Portland Oregonian, the discovery of the mistake came too late to save its season.
As reported by the Oregonian and OregonLive, Yamhill-Carlton (Ore.) High School was kept out of the Class 3A state playoffs with a 5-4 record because it was allegedly ranked 16th in its class statewide. The Class 3A playoff bracket was released October 27, the team gathered its gear and coaches and players went their separate ways.
Five days later, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) told Yamhill-Carlton that it actually deserved a spot in the impending playoffs, and that a data entry error was behind its temporary exclusion.
Imagine that for a second: After a hard-fought 3-0 finish to the season to push a team’s record into the win column, a school learns it missed the playoffs after it thought it would sneak in. Then after it’s already disbanded, it’s asked to suddenly get the gang back together.
As it turns out, Yamhill-Carlton principal Cindy Schubert, football coach Brennon Mossholder and athletic director Matt Wiles eventually determined that the error was identified too late to salvage the Yamhill-Carlton season. That doesn’t mean the team didn’t deserve some piece of mind that they were treated unfairly, and the OSAA attempted to provide that with a letter addressed to Schubert, the principal.
“I humbly apologize to you, your team and your entire school community in reporting to you that an error occurred by OSAA staff when entering another school’s forfeit of a game earlier this season,” the letter reads, per the Oregonian.
“We became aware and confirmed the error had taken place on Wednesday, October 31 and spent that day working through the impact the error would have had on the rankings. After reviewing the information, we determined that had the information been entered correctly by OSAA staff, Yamhill-Carlton would have been in the 3A football state playoffs.”
You can read the entire letter below as it was addressed to Yamhill-Carlton officials:
Naturally, it is impossible for the OSAA to completely — or even reasonably — atone for the error made and its impact on the Yamhill-Carlton squad’s season.
For now, the teens will have to make do with a sincere mea culpa on the part of a state association, in this case, a particularly costly one.