A state athletic association is praising the work of Arlington’s acting athletic director in uncovering and acting on rule violations that have lead to a number of forfeited victories for Arlington High School.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Richard Neal, the executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, praised the efforts of Arlington’s acting athletic director Robert DiLoreto.
“Now that the unfortunate situation at Arlington High School involving use of ineligible players during the 2011-2012 school year has been resolved, we wish to publicly acknowledge the integrity demonstrated by acting Athletic Director Robert DiLoreto and other school leaders.”
Neal said that upon finding that there may have been eligibility violations in the Arlington High School sports program, DiLoreto worked diligently to identify all possible rule violations. He then notified the MIAA of the extent of his findings this week and of Arlington’s intent to forfeit the games in which ineligible players participated.
“This is obviously a difficult situation for Arlington High School and the student athletes who participate on their teams,” Neal said. “However, it is just such diligence and integrity shown by school leadership that insures the values of educational athletics and the lessons we try to teach our student athletes through their participation in sports.”
Arlington Public Schools announced Wednesday that ineligible players participated on 12 different teams during the 2011-2012 school year, and that as a result eight teams had to forfeit games. Four teams, including the fall 2011 varsity and junior varsity boys soccer teams, the spring 2012 boys varsity tennis team, and the spring girls junior varsity softball team, had to forfeit all of their wins for their season.
The announcement came after the school district’s athletic director Ted Dever has already been placed on paid administrative leave for an ongoing criminal investigation, the details of which have not been made public. This week Dever, through his attorney Rick Grundy, criticized the school district’s move to dismiss him for performance-related reasons, unrelated to the criminal investigation, that the athletic director claims are unfounded.
Dever was placed on administrative leave in August, and according to Arlington Public Schools, DiLoreto then learned about possible eligibility issues. The school launched an investigation that uncovered the widespread problems.
News of the forfeitures drew reactions of anger and disappointment from students, parents and school officials this week.
Arlington's School Committee will discuss the forfeitures at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 20.