Marion School District statement on AAA ruling:

  • Under Arkansas Activities Association rules, Marion will forfeit its September 24 victory over West Memphis and its August 27 victory over Wynne due to the participation of an ineligible player. The use of the ineligible player by the Marion football team was not intentional, but rather the result of a string of extenuating circumstances. 
  • Marion received notification on October 8 that an ineligible player may have participated in football games earlier in the season. This followed a report made to the AAA by the West Memphis School District.
  • Following notification, Marion immediately began an internal review of the case. During this review, it was discovered that Marion had received false information on an Athletic Consent Form. The form falsely indicated that the student resided with a custodial parent in the Marion School District. 
  • Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Marion discontinued verification visits to students’ homes beginning in the fall of 2020 out of concern for the health and safety of both students and staff. This was the case for all students enrolling at Marion, not just athletes. Normally, a home check would have revealed that incorrect information had been submitted on the Athletic Consent Form, and prevented the student-athlete from participating. Home checks resumed in August of 2021 with new student enrollments.
  • Marion is taking additional steps to improve internal processes to ensure compliance with AAA eligibility guidelines for student-athletes transferring in and out of the Marion School District. This includes improved coordination between the district’s enrollment and athletic departments.
  • The student in question had minimal impact on the outcome of the Marion-West Memphis game, which Marion won by a score of 33-3. While the student did participate in a significant portion of the game, he recorded no statistics and was not a part of any notable plays.
  • The student in question has not attended school at the Marion School District since the day of the Marion-West Memphis football game on September 24.