Mansfield coach Mike Redding talks to his team. (Robert E. Klein / Globe File Photo)
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association today released its ruling that the Mansfield football program must forfeit two games for the use of a fifth-year, ineligible player during the 2008 season.
The team will also surrender its runner-up trophy from this year's Eastern Mass. Division 2 Super Bowl -- a 41-21 loss to Walpole -- and the athletic program has been put on probation for one year. Due to the two regular-season forfeits -- games against Oliver Ames and Sharon -- North Attleboro will be declared the champion of the Hockomock League.
In a letter dated Jan. 5, MIAA president James Peters delivered the punishment to Mansfield principal Dr. Joseph Maruszczak.
Coach Mike Redding
The letter also states that, "given Coach (Michael) Redding's continued disregard for MIAA rules and policies... the Board charges the Principal to create and apply corresponding consequences to the Coach. These penalties must be reported to the Board without delay. If the Board considers the penalties to be inadequate, the Board will take such additional actions as it deems appropriate."
The letter also demands that the Mansfield School Committee will reimburse the association for its legal costs within 60 days of the conclusion of litigation, "as a result of having to defend its member schools in this case (Rule 29)."
The MIAA originally forced Mansfield to forfeit the two regular-season games and canceled its semifinal playoff game against Bishop Feehan when the school self-reported the use of a fifth-year senior, Andy Rapp, just days before the playoffs.
Mansfield sought and earned an injunction inside Taunton Superior Court, which allowed the team to compete in that semifinal matchup, where the Hornets defeated Bishop Feehan, 22-6, to land a Super Bowl berth.
Mansfield stated its appeal before the MIAA Board of Directors on Dec. 18.
For a look at the letter, follow the "full entry" link below.
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- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
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- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
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