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Riverdale e-mail ignored
Oct 28, 2004 12:00 am
An unsigned e-mail alleging undefeated Riverdale High School has been playing an ineligible player this season has been thrown away by the TSSAA.
That means Riverdale will remain undefeated going into its regular-season finale against LaVergne on Friday. Lebanon will finish second in Region 4-5A, Smyrna third and the winner of Friday's Blackman-Wilson Central game fourth.
The e-mail – sent to all Region 4-5A schools, selected media and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assocation – alleged a Riverdale player is ineligible in violation of the association's dual residency rule.
Riverdale coach Gary Rankin vehemently denied the accusation in a phone call with The Lebanon Democrat on Tuesday, calling it "a lie."
Citing a constant barrage of accusations which reach his office, TSSAA Executive Director Ronnie Carter said unsigned allegations are basically ignored.
"We do not respond to anonymous e-mails, anonymous calls, anonymous letters," Carter said Wednesday. "What we're going to respond to is anything that's got a factual base. But we're not going to respond to street talk, anonymous calls."
Rankin called TSSAA on Tuesday, saying he and Riverdale officials "had double-checked, triple-checked," Carter said. The TSSAA official added the school's principal from where the player transferred called and explained no rules violation happened.
"If we were doing an investigation, that just covered the whole issue right there," Carter said.
The TSSAA chief said his office could receive as many as 10 complaints an hour concerning violations. About 90 percent of violations which are found to be valid are turned in by the schools themselves, Carter said.
"If that individual had signed his name, the first thing we'd have done is call him and say 'tell us what you know'," Carter said.
In an unrelated matter, Maplewood has forfeited four wins, including one over Mt. Juliet, for using an ineligible player. The win gives the Golden Bears a 3-3 Region 6-4A record and 4-5 overall worksheet, but it's not enough to put them back into the playoff race with Northeast visiting Elzie Patton Stadium on Friday night to end the season. Half of MJ's wins are forfeits including one by Pearl-Cohn.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.