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FHSAA denies Warhawks' appeal


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 6, 2001

They're still unbeaten, but the record won't reflect it.

Seminole and standout shortstop Bryan Bass lost their appeal Thursday with the Florida High School Activities Association. The Warhawks, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America and unbeaten in 18 games, will forfeit their first 10 games for using an ineligible player.

Bass, who transferred from Fort Lauderdale Westminster to Seminole in January, initially had been cleared to play by the FHSAA. He was ruled ineligible March 14.

Bass lived with a host family in Fort Lauderdale. But he now lives with his mother, Barbara, in Seminole, which is against FHSAA regulations because it constitutes a "break in the residence chain" during the school year.

At Thursday's meeting in Bartow, Seminole principal Richard Duncan, Bass' father, Steve, and Seminole teacher Pete Moriarty, a former attorney, addressed the three-person appeals committee for about 5 to 10 minutes each. The vote was 3-0 to deny the appeal.

"We gave a very passionate plea," Duncan said. "They gave us a great deal of time, ample time. Mr. Bass gave a very emotional presentation for his son.

"They listened. And when it came time to vote, they voted very quickly, unanimously, no."

Seminole will not appeal further.

"Our next opportunity would be before the full (FHSAA) board in a month, but the season will be over by then," Duncan said.

"It's very unfortunate. (Bass) could be a first-round draft pick, and this could (affect his draft status). And coach (Scott) Miller and 24 members of the baseball team now have 10 losses."

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