The wait is on for La Canada High School football player Drake Beasley Jr.
The standout running back who was declared ineligible for the season by the CIF Southern Section in September had his appeal hearing at the CIF State level on Monday afternoon. Now, the remaining days of his prep football career are in the hands of the three-member appeals committee.
“I’m holding up alright,” Beasley Jr. said after the hearing. “I’m hopeful. I want to play football, but I know there’s an opportunity that I won’t. Either way, I’m prepared. And I think either way it will be okay.”
Beasley, who has multiple college offers and is considered one of the running backs in the state, left Loyola in August and transferred to La Canada due to what his parents said were financial reasons. Loyola challenged the transfer, the first time the school had made such a move in 18 years, on grounds that it was because of undue influence from members of La Canada’s coaching staff.
After reviewing information presented by both schools and Beasley’s parents, the Southern Section declared Beasley ineligible at La Canada until August 2017, when he will presumably already be preparing for his freshman season at whichever college he chooses.
The Beasleys were represented at Monday’s hearing by attorney Brandon Leopolzus. Also present was La Canada head coach Ryan Zerbel and assistant coach Jason Sarceda. Loyola was not represented at the hearing.
With Beasley, La Canada figured to be the favorite in the Rio Hondo League this season. The Spartans haven’t had their would-be star player all season and started league play with a loss to Monrovia last week to even their season record at 3-3. La Canada has just four games left in the regular season.
No new evidence other than a letter penned by Beasley was introduced at the hearing, which took place at the Southern Section office in Los Alamitos. Beasley and his mother Rosa were allowed to make a closing a statement at the end of the hearing.
“I think they asked a lot of tough questions, but I think it went well,” Rosa Beasley said. “It let them see us on a human level more than just being on paper.”
Added Drake Beasley Sr.: “It’s out of our hands, but we’re going to continue be optimistic and whatever they rule, we’ll just have to live with it. Whatever decision they make, I’m going to cry if we win and I’m going to cry if we lose.”