South Pasadena will not be in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs despite finishing in third place in the Rio Hondo League and earning an automatic bid.
League officials ruled the Tigers out because of an unspecified rules violation. Tigers coach Martin Konrad was not at Friday’s 21-3 victory over La Canada. Apparently players from neither team knew about the ruling.
Here is a statement from principal Janet Anderson and athletic director Greg Luna:
Dear Tiger Football Families,
First of all, we would like to thank you for your unwavering support this season. What a remarkable season it has been with tonight’s game a beautiful jewel in the season’s crown. It is with very heavy hearts that we share with you what your sons have likely already shared. After their bus ride back home from La Canada, their coaches and the two of us met with the team. We acknowledged and celebrated their accomplishments and their joy. That made it all the harder to share with them that rather than continue into the CIF playoffs as the third place team, their season has come to an end.
Yesterday, we became aware that our school was accused of a violation of CIF regulations. We are continuing our investigation into the allegation. La Canada played tonight’s game under protest. Had they won, the protest would likely have been moot. With us winning the game, the Rio Hondo League leadership determined that SPHS would forfeit the game and La Canada would take the third place spot.
Tonight, we told the players that they did things correctly; the violations are not tied to their behavior. We also shared that since it is an ongoing investigation, there are details we will not be sharing at this time. Due to the time sensitive nature of playoff seeding, we do not expect there to be a change in this ruling. We are sending you information as quickly and as thoroughly as we can tonight, however brief it necessarily is.
Please help our players process this disappointment by highlighting the many stellar points experienced throughout this season.
We thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Janet Anderson, Principal
Greg Luna, Athletic Director