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Missouri school fires all football coaches after suspended player suits up under different name

October 23, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A St. Louis high school last week fired all of its football coaches and canceled the remainder the season after a suspended running back was caught playing under a different name.

Cardinal Ritter College Prep junior Bill Jackson was supposed to serve a one-game suspension after being ejected from last year’s title game. Instead, according to reports, he suited up for the team’s season opener wearing a different number and being listed as “freshman Marvin Burks.” In the game, the “freshman” ran for 109 yards and a touchdown in a 32-21 victory.

The team, led by coach Brandon Gregory, carried a 7-0 record, but the school decided to end the season after discovering the ploy. School president Tamiko Armstead also announced in a statement that the athletic director had “made the decision to retire.”

As detailed by CBS Sports, Gregory kept up the lie for some time, even telling media that is was the freshman’s “time to play play ball.” After a St. Louis Post Dispatch investigation discovered the infraction, Gregory insisted it was an innocent mistake.

From CBS Sports:

“That’s kinda my wrongdoing of not knowing the rules and that he shouldn’t have not sat out the jamboree, he should have sat out week one so that’s what happened” he said.

As for the coach’s defense of Jackson wearing a different jersey, Gregory said “that’s a thing our kids do on the regular basis, you know, they try to change jersey numbers and sometimes don’t let us know.”

The state athletic association said that it accepted the school’s self-imposed sanctions.

Read the full story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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