KATY, TX (KTRK) --The Katy High School varsity baseball team is forfeiting 20 games because of a UIL rule violation. Two players were paid to to be Little League assistants during this season, which a 19-6A District Executive Committee found violated the amateur athletic rule on Friday.
Katy played Strake Jesuit Friday night and the boys' parents believe the teens didn't do anything wrong. The parents say they checked the rules before accepting any kind of payment. Two seniors started volunteering for a church member's little league back in February which turned into a part-time job.
"He and his wife have a ministry to help kids so they love when teenagers give back to the community," explained Robert Jackman, the father of one of the boys.
"We went through and looked at the rule again to make sure and nowhere does it say they were in violation at all, whatsoever," said Terrie Baker, the mother of the other senior.
Section 441 of the UIL amateur athletic rule states in part:
"...A student in grades 9-12 is not an amateur if that individual, within the preceding 12 months received money or other valuable consideration for teaching or participating in a League sponsored school sport."
"Doesn't say anything about not being able to help Little League. Says you can't do a league sport or league contest, a league sponsored sport," Jackman said.
"These boys had no intention of doing anything wrong and didn't think they did anything wrong and as parents, we didn't either," Baker said.
The Katy ISD athletic department was made aware of the possible violation April 12 and 19-6A District Executive Committee recommended the minimum penalty Friday morning. The 20 games Katy won that are now forfeited were from the February to April 11 time period the teens were determined to be ineligible.
Full statement from Katy ISD below:
On April 12, Katy ISD's Athletic Department was made aware of a possible UIL rule violation by two members of the Katy High School Varsity Baseball Team who received payment for serving as assistants for a youth baseball team from February 22, 2016 to April 11, 2016. A hearing with the 19-6A District Executive Committee was held this morning in the Katy ISD Education Support Complex, and it was determined that there was a violation of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, Section 441, Amateur Athletic Rule.
As a result, the 19-6A District Executive Committee recommended the minimum penalty which is forfeiture of contest during the time the athletes were ineligible. Therefore, the Katy High School baseball team will have to forfeit the 20 games they won between February 22, 2016 and April 11, 2016.
The school and the District understand this is a very unfortunate incident as the team has worked very hard during the season, but it is important that Katy ISD abides by the rules and regulations of the UIL, as it is expected of all school districts.