Navajo Prep football forfeits three wins from season
FARMINGTON — The Navajo Prep football program announced last week the forfeiture of three victories in games earlier this season due to a student's ineligibility.
The Eagles were forced to vacate wins on their non-district schedule against Crownpoint on Sept. 9, as well as against Cuba on Sept. 24 and against Espanola Valley on Oct. 8.
Navajo Prep was informed of the student-athlete's ineligibility just days after the team's most recent win, a 58-16 homecoming night victory over Tohatchi last Thursday night, according to the school's athletic director Rainy Crisp.
"The student will have to sit out the three games in which they played and were ineligible for," Crisp said. "That starts with this Friday's game against Newcomb."
The student-athlete, who's name was not released, appeared in each of the three games for which have now been forfeited.
The school self-reported the incident to the New Mexico Activities Association and immediately forfeited the three victories, according to head football coach Roderick Denetso.
"It was something we just overlooked, an academics issue from last year." Denetso said. "It fell through the cracks."
NMAA rules regarding eligibility state "a student shall have a 2.0 grade point average with no F’s, based on a 4.0 grading scale, or its equivalent, for the semester grading period immediately preceding participation. For students not eligible at the semester, the next six or nine week grading period can be used to regain eligibility. Grades earned during a summer session must be placed on a student’s transcript by the school registrar prior to the first day of the Fall semester in order for the course to be utilized for eligibility purposes."
Denetso took responsibility for the incident.
"Ultimately, it comes down to the students and myself to check and keep up on these things," Denetso said. "But I have to do a better job on paperwork, to make sure we're doing things the right way."
Navajo Prep's record with those forfeitures now stands at 4-5 overall, while keeping their record of 2-0 intact within District 1-3A.
"It's an unfortunate situation, but one we can still control," Denetso said. "If we win Friday night, we're going to the playoffs and that's been our goal all season long."
The student-athlete will miss Friday's game at Newcomb, and will be forced to miss two more games, either during the upcoming postseason or next season.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.