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FHSAA denies Armwood’s Nold—again

Posted Nov 1, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Nov 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

For the second time in three months, a Florida High School Athletics Association sectional appeals committee has voted unanimously to deny the eligibility request of Armwood senior offensive lineman Gabe Nold.

Despite presenting cell phone records the Nold family and an expert witness in wireless technology said proves Gabe has been living with his father within Armwood’s district since February, all six members of the committee voted Thursday against overturning the original denial of eligibility issued by Hawks principal Mike Ippolito.

Nold, an honors student who is also a standout wrestler, transferred to Armwood from Wharton in February but has not competed in any sport since the ruling of Ippolito. At the time of that ruling in February, Ippolito said his decision was based on the belief the Nold family presented false residency evidence.

In late August, this same sectional appeals committee voted unanimously against Nold. Last month, an appeal filed by Nold and his attorney, Peter Hobson, was heard by the FHSAA’s board of directors in Gainesville. There, Nold’s cell phone records were presented as new evidence and proof his calls and texts were being transmitted by cell towers near his father’s apartment during week days while attending Armwood.

But the FHSAA board said the new evidence had to be heard by the sectional committee, further delaying Nold’s chance to play for the Hawks. Thursday, the committee saw the phone records but, after hearing testimony from Hillsborough County Athletic Director Lanness Robinson and Ippolito about their home visit last May to the apartment of Nold’s father, voted 6-0 to deny eligibility. Robinson said Thursday at the time of his visit to the apartment, he did not believe both Nold and his father lived in the apartment.

After Thursday’s ruling, Hobson said he will file another appeal to the FHSAA board of director, while also “exploring all other options.’’ Armwood plays its last regular season game Friday against King.

Stay tuned to TBO for more details on this story and reaction from the Nolds and their attorney.

Photo: (left to right) of Armwood senior offensive lineman Gabe Nold, his father, John Nold, and Gabe’s mother, Alexis Nold, sitting outside the Manatee County School Board office moments after a Florida High School Athletics Association sectional appeals committee denied Gabe’s appeal for athletic eligibility for the second time in three months. Photo by BILL WARD/The Tampa Tribune.

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