Student athletes miss state championship because school doesn't make deadline

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Several Valley high schoolers won't be able to play for a state title in tennis because administrators failed to file paperwork. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Several Valley high schoolers won't be able to play for a state title in tennis because administrators failed to file paperwork. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Rush Williams spends more than 15 hours a week practicing on the tennis court but won't be eligible for state title this year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rush Williams spends more than 15 hours a week practicing on the tennis court but won't be eligible for state title this year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The students may still play in the team state championship because they will make the deadline. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The students may still play in the team state championship because they will make the deadline. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"I could accept it if it's fair and just, but it’s neither," Steve Williams, Rush Williams's father, said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "I could accept it if it's fair and just, but it’s neither," Steve Williams, Rush Williams's father, said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Several high school tennis players won't get a chance to play for the state title because of a paperwork problem.

Rush Williams spends more than 15 hours a week practicing on the tennis court. 

"When you win the state championship, I feel like that’s a big moment," Rush said. "And you can go down in the history of your school."

But instead of representing Arcadia High School in the state championship this Friday, he and his teammates who qualified will be watching from the sidelines. 

"When I found out, I was confused and bummed," Rush said.

"I could accept it if it's fair and just, but it’s neither," Steve Williams, Rush Williams's father, said.

He told us the school missed the deadline to submit their roster to the Arizona Interscholastic Association

"It's hard to accept that an adult's mistake is going to cost these kids an opportunity to play for a state championship," Steve said.

"I don’t know at what level something got missed or where the mistake was made," said Erin Helm with the Scottsdale Unified School District.

She said they are going to implement training, calendar reminders and a system review to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

"The principal is taking full responsibility for it, and moving forward, it will be really clear whose job it is to make sure the names are submitted," Helm said. 

The students may still play in the team state championship because they will make the deadline. 

We talked to the AIA, and they said they send out plenty of reminders to athletic departments. They said they feel bad about the situation, but rules are rules.

Steve said they should make an exception. 

"Don’t punish the kids for mistakes administrators are making," he said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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