footbrawl

Suspended high school football player plays under fake name in game, chaos ensues

October 23, 2019
Penalty flag with a Pro American Football sitting on the turf of a stadium.
cmannphoto

Youth sports are a hellscape. Especially when it comes to high school football. Everyone knows this. Sometimes a week will go by where everyone plays fairly and there aren't any fights between parents and the referees understand the sport they are watching over, but this is more of an exception than the rule.

In the latest chapter of why your children should just play in the backyard instead of on the school's dirt field, we have Cardinal Ritter College Prep's stunningly shortsighted attempt to have a suspended player suit up for a game.

Instead of benching junior running back Bill Jackson after being ejected from the preceding game, the 2018 Class 3 state championship game, Jackson donned the wrong number and pretended to be freshman Marvin Burks to play the Aug. 31 season opener at Nazareth Academy. He rushed for 109 yards and had a 56-yard touchdown run in a 32-21 win, but that would be the last good news for Cardinal Ritter for a while.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recognized the tattoos of "Burks" as those of Jackson, the ineligible running back, and an investigation opened with many a Cardinal Ritter employee losing their job.

The football program has been suspended for the remainder of the season and the entire coaching staff has been “permanently released from Cardinal Ritter College Prep immediately."

After his dismissal, head coach Brandon Gregory admitted multiple times that "a mistake was made" to St. Louis's NBC affiliate KSDK.

When asked about week one roster changes pre-game, Gregory stated that the team added Marvin Burks "last minute.” Well, Gregory's now out of a job, along with the rest of the staff, and his record with the Lions will end at 28-8 with one big screw-up.

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