Star MHSAA track & field athlete ruled ineligible for season

A Mississippi high school track and field freshman has been ruled ineligible to compete this season, according to the Mississippi High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).

Tupelo High School freshman Andrew Brown is regarded as the fastest freshman in the country, running a mile in 4.18 minutes. Earlier this month, Brown competed in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in Boston. Tupelo’s athletic director then received an anonymous complaint regarding Brown’s participation in the event — sparking the ineligible ruling from the MHSAA.

mhsaaA recent story from detailed the season-long suspension from the MHSAA. Below is an excerpt from the story.

The plane tickets, hotel, and entry fees were all paid for, so Jim said Andrew raced anyway.

“I don’t want to harm anyone by competing at this meet, or anything. I just want to enjoy what I do,” Andrew Brown said.

“There is no money exchanged whatsoever. It is just the top high school runners in the entire country competing at the highest level,” Jim Brown said.

Andrew’s dad said the MHSAA claimed Andrew broke the rule about competing with a team in an indoor competition once the outdoor season has started. The issue Jim has with that reasoning is Andrew raced in the Adidas competition last year and wasn’t penalized.

“To other runners, it’s not motivating at all. It really ruins some people’s dreams, goals, and future,” Andrew said.

Changing the rule would allow Mississippi to be represented at these top competitions according to Jim.

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“It helps put Tupelo on the map when runners excel at what they are doing. And, we want to make sure Mississippi is not 50th in everything,” Jim explained. “We have incredible talent in this state, but if we have a state association holding young runners back, and discouraging them like this, we will remain 50th.”

Jim Brown said multiple high schools, fans, and colleges have reached out to the family in support. They want the rule to change.

To read the full story from, click here.