Rochester High School must forfeit its biggest win of the season, over Sacred Heart-Griffin, under a ruling handed down Saturday by the Illinois High School Association. The decision is based on a rules violation that Rochester reported on its own... but it costs the team its unbeaten season and hands the Central State Eight championship to SH-G.
Rochester notified the IHSA that a parents' group had purchased championship rings for three students who could not afford them on their own. But the purchase exceeded limits set by IHSA rules. Rochester officials say they and the three players were unaware of any rules violations until after the fact, but the IHSA says the purchase means the players were ineligible.
The association determined that their presence was a determining factor only in Rochester's win over the Cyclones, so the victory now goes to SH-G, giving them a perfect 9-0 record and dropping Rochester to 8-1. The IHSA will rule soon on whether those three players will be allowed to compete in postseason play.