The Higley football program's appeal to have its two-game "forfeiture" overturned was denied by the AIA Executive Board during its monthly meeting on Monday.
Higley will forfeit its first two games this season - victories against Yuma and Desert View - and will only have eight games count toward its power rankings (instead of 10). It could also affect Higley's opponents' "strength of schedule" rating.
The Knights are currently listed at 6-1 and currently No. 10 in the Div. III power rankings, though it's unclear whether the forfeitures will take effect for this week's seedings when they are released Tuesday morning, or take effect next week before power rankings are "frozen" leading up to Week 10.
"I'm glad it's over, we can focus on our final two tough opponents and move forward," Higley coach Eddy Zubey said.
The Knights play at Saguaro on Friday night, then host Williams Field on Nov. 1 to end the regular season.
The appeal stemmed around running back Ricky Marshall, who transferred from Desert Ridge during the 2012 season and sat out the remainder of last season, but didn't originally move into Higley district boundaries.
The Knights contended that, in meeting with Higley’s previous administration, Marshall's family was told he would be eligible to play this season, 365 days after leaving Desert Ridge.
But AIA rule 220.127.116.11 states if a student doesn't move into the next school’s attendance boundaries, the student-athlete is also ineligible the following year (2013) barring a move into the attendance boundary or successful appeal.
Higley self-reported the violation in mid-September, and the administration said Marshall moved into the district's boundaries around the same time.
Marshall has 878 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in seven games for the Knights this season.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or (480) 898-6576.