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FHSAA denies appeal of Armwood’s Nold—again
Posted Nov 18, 2012 by Bill Ward
Updated Nov 18, 2012 at 08:35 PM
The Florida High School Athletics Association board of directors voted Sunday in Gainesville to deny the eligibility appeal of Armwood senior football player Gabe Nold.
Earlier this month in Bradenton, an FHSAA sectional appeals committee voted unanimously against Nold’s eligibility request. The committee agreed with the decision of Armwood principal Mike Ippolito, who last spring ruled Nold ineligible due to what Ippolito believed was falsification of residency information to attend the Seffner school.
Sunday marked the second time the Nold and his father, John Nold, had gone before the board in Gainesville. Last month, they presented the board new evidence in the form of phone records which they say proved without a doubt Gabe has lived with his dad at a Seffner apartment since transferring to Armwood from Wharton last February. Despite that evidence, the board initially ruled the Nolds had to first present it to the sectional committee.
Rejected by the sectional committee two weeks ago, the Nolds again filed an appeal with the FHSAA board. This time, the board upheld the sectional committee’s decision by a vote of 12-4 against Nold’s appeal for eligibility. Hobson said the four votes in their favor represented progress and he vowed to fight on, possibly with a legal challenge in the public court system.
If Hobson and the Nolds stop after Sunday’s ruling, Nold would remain ineligibile the remainder of his senior year. Not only would that snuff out any hopes of playing football for Armwood as it continues postseason play, Nold would also not be able to compete for the Hawks’ wrestling team this winter.
Hobson says the FHSAA is still not upholding House Bill 1403, a new bill passed by the state legislature this year that, among other provisions, requires the FHSAA to provide requirements for the investigative and judicial process to begin anew if new evidence is brought to its attention regarding the eligibility of a student-athlete.
‘‘They (the FHSAA) still are not doing what our state legislature has told them to do,’’ Hobson said. ‘‘When you think of how many athletes this affects across the state, it’s frightening and sad that the FHSAA has either refused to uphold the law or does not understand the law.’’