By Jeremy Balan
For the second consecutive season, Lincoln High School’s girls volleyball program has been sanctioned for using an ineligible player.
Due to a failure by the Lincoln athletic department to file transfer paperwork for an incoming player from Mercy, the Mustangs have been forced to forfeit their first Academic Athletic Association win over Balboa, as well as four non-league matches and five tournament matches.
The infraction was self-reported by Lincoln athletic director Kenyatta Scott, who has taken full responsibility for the mistake.
“It sickens me to no end and the weight of that falls on me as the athletic director,” Scott said. “The paperwork was submitted to me and I didn’t get it in.”
Because of the a similar issue last season that caused Lincoln head coach Vincent Tang to be suspended from the AAA championship game, combined with this year’s infraction, the San Francisco Section has put the program under probation for two years.
“All of our athletic directors and coaches are told that you must process CIF State transfer paperwork for all transfer students,” said San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins. “Here, the athletic director has stood up in a forthright manner and taken responsibility. That is laudable, but we should not make the athletic director the fall guy for the Lincoln forfeits. The coaching staff is also accountable . . . and coaching staffs here and throughout the state know that you don’t just place transfer students on the court before their transfer paperwork is submitted and approved.”
If the program commits any further eligibility violations within that two-year probation period, it will be disqualified from postseason play.
“We take all of this very seriously,” Scott said. “I have to go to the group and explain to them what happened. They’ve done all this hard work and I’m the one who has this resting on my shoulders. It’s a sickening feeling.”
Although the Balboa forfeit will hurt Lincoln in the AAA standings, which currently has the team in eighth and out of the playoffs, the Mustangs’ remaining schedule is almost entirely composed of the weaker teams in the league and the forfeit should not threaten their playoff hopes.