Miami Central’s 2011 state runner-up football season is about to be wiped from the record books.
Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director Roger Dearing confirmed to The Miami Herald on Wednesday that an investigation conducted at the Miami-Dade School district level has found that former Central quarterback Austin Stock was ineligible to play for the Rockets last season.
Dearing said that barring an appeal from Central, the FHSAA will force the Rockets to forfeit all of their games from last season, which include 13 wins and its state runner-up trophy.
The good news for the Rockets, who will enter this season ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today, is that their 2012 state championship aspirations will not be affected.
Seffner Armwood, the team that beat Central in the 2011 Class 6A final, already forfeited its championship season earlier this summer after the school admitted to the use of multiple ineligible players following a similar investigation.
Armwood also remains eligible for the playoffs this coming season.
“We contacted [Central] late last week on what the findings were, and they confirmed receipt of it this past Monday I believe,” FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing said. “Now we are giving them due process to review and respond to it.”
Dearing said he expects a response from Central by early next week.
If the school does not choose to appeal the findings, Dearing said the FHSAA’s sanctions on the program would be levied quickly thereafter.
In addition to the forfeits, it would include fines of at least $100 per game for every game Stock played in last season.
Stock started all 14 games last season after transferring from Parkland Douglas.
Central’s football team would also be placed on administrative probation for at least one season during which any further violations could result in more severe penalties such as playoff ineligibility and larger monetary fines.
The investigation concluded that when Stock first came to Central he was being housed by a member of Central’s booster club, which Dearing said is a recruiting violation. Because of this conclusion, Dearing said the state could require Central to have members of its booster club sign an agreement of awareness of FHSAA rules.
In November 2011, a package sent anonymously to the FHSAA and The Miami Herald detailed that Stock was living with his mother, Diane, at the Curtis Inn hotel located at 1501 S. Federal Hwy. in Hollywood. The school later said Stock claimed “homeless student” status.
This was also proven not valid by the investigation.
Dearing said Stock and his mother never filed for the assistance given at the state level to homeless students, and that she was paying for the room herself. Stock was also receiving transportation to and from Central by a school employee, also a violation according to Dearing.
For such transportation to and from the school to have been deemed legal under the guidelines of being deemed a homeless student, Stock had to have been enrolled at a school within the same county of the previous school he attended before making the homeless claim.