Amid accusations leveled by a former East Ridge football player, an investigation continues whether additional players violated eligibility rules.
East Ridge forfeited all of its victories, plus conference and section football titles from the 2013 and 2014 season after a South Washington County School District investigation found that a player never actually lived at the residence listed on the paperwork provided by the family.
Jojo Garcia, a top defensive lineman who verbally committed to the Gophers, confirmed to the Star Tribune that he was deemed ineligible to play. He said he was not the only East Ridge player with a residency issue.
“East Ridge did a couple things illegally,” said Garcia, who plans to transfer to Simley and will not be eligible to play football. “There are a couple of big-time recruits that probably shouldn’t have been there.”
A South Washington County spokesperson, when asked Monday when the investigation might be completed, the spokesperson said “in a timely way prior to the start of the football season.’’ Practice begins Aug. 10.
East Ridge football coach Mike Pendino declined to comment when reached on Saturday. When the forfeits were announced earlier this month, Pendino said he and his coaches “have no say on who can come into East Ridge,’’ emphasizing that approval is determined by the school district.The allegations of player ineligiblity come in the wake of Jon Hinzman resigning as the school’s activities director effective June 30.