Tarpon Springs wide receiver Dondre Daley has been declared eligible by the Florida High School Athletic Association after concerns were raised about his residence the past two weeks, Spongers interim coach Ronnie Hawn said in a text message.
Daley played in the first three games but was held out of the Sept. 23 game against Dixie Hollins and the Sept. 30 game against Northeast while Tarpon Springs administrators looked into eligibility issues regarding his residence.
Daley, a senior, transferred from Anclote to Tarpon Springs in July. Hawn said via text that the FHSAA ruled Daley was eligible on Aug. 1, but there were some family issues that forced the school to re-examine the situation. It turned out nothing had changed in regards to Daley’s eligibility according to Hawn.
Daley said last week that he lived with his mother in Holiday but moved in July because his family “was going through some stuff.” He said he is living with his uncle and legal guardian, Charles Driver, a former all-state football player with the Spongers in the 1970s and a retired Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy.
In the Florida High School Athletic Association handbook, a student who transfers is eligible provided he or she moves with the same family members or guardians the student has been living with for at least one calendar year and meets all other eligibility requirements.
There are exceptions. If a student has to move in with someone that makes it necessary to attend another school, he or she is eligible provided the move meets specific situations, including guardianship that must be appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Daley’s return comes at a critical time as the Spongers start the bulk of their district schedule with a game at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch on Friday. Tarpon Springs also welcome the return of quarterback Louis Pappas, who was held out of last week’s game because of concussion-like symptoms he sustained the previous week.