Gulf’s softball team has forfeited seven games after self-reporting the use of an academically ineligible player, according to a letter from the FHSAA to the district.
The Florida High School Athletic Association ruled that one of Gulf’s coaches looked at the wrong set of grades while checking academic eligibility.
"The adjunct coach had looked at the 'weighted' GPA instead of the 'un-weighted' GPA and did not realize that the student did not meet the state required criteria," the FHSAA wrote in a letter dated March 19 and provided to the Times under open-records laws.
"The incident was a gross oversight, as a result procedures have been addressed and modified to eliminate any further issues," Bucs athletic director Travis DeWalt said in an email.
The FHSAA fined Gulf $700 – that’s $100 for each game the ineligible student participated in – and reprimanded the school.
Before the forfeits, the Bucs were one of the North Suncoast's top programs and one of the top two teams in Class 5A, District 8. Gulf must forfeit district games against Zephyrhills, Pasco, Hudson, Wesley Chapel and Ridgewood and non-district games against Land O'Lakes and Tampa Catholic to fall to 9-11.
Gulf was ranked seventh in the most recent Class 5A poll by Miracle Sports.