Sunnyside’s wrestling team will find out this week whether or not it will be stripped of several dual-meet wins and its second-place finish at state last season because of a self-reported violation.
The new-look Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board meets for the first time this year on Monday morning in Phoenix. Among the six school violations listed in the agenda is one by the Blue Devils, who crowned three individual champions finished 35 points behind first-place Mesa Mountain View at the Division I state meet in February.
Sunnyside reported the violation of Rule 15.5.1, pertaining to student eligibility, after it was discovered that a wrestler, who transferred from Ironwood Ridge, did not live in the school’s attendance zone, making him ineligible to compete.
The student was found in possession of illegal drugs on April 21, according to the violation report on the meeting agenda. Then it was discovered that his parents submitted a false lease agreement and a false driver's license, the report says.
The wrestler did not compete with the team until after winter break so the forfeits only apply to any contests from January through the end of the season. Sunnyside is appealing the forfeitures, however, including the outcome of the state meet. If the appeal is denied, the team will be stripped of the runner-up trophy.
The school said it also will review AIA bylaws with coaches as part of its corrective action and an administrator will now make home visits with incoming transfers to verify the reported domicile.
Sunnyside's wrestling team is coached by Anthony Leon, who is entering his fifth year with the program. The Blue Devils finished in a tie for fourth place in 2012, won the championship the following season and have placed second each of the last two years.
Among the other notable items on the agenda for Monday’s meeting is the approval of David Hines to be hired as the AIA assistant executive director, filling the spot left by the departed Chuck Schmidt.