UPDATE: Playoff Games in Question Could Be Delayed if Courts Cannot Reach Decision
The OHSAA Sent out an update this afternoon that the courts have not yet reached a decision on which teams — Beachwood and Cleveland Heights or Ashtabula Edgewood and Mayfield — get playoff spots.
Updated 12:43 p.m. Friday
The OHSAA says it does not yet have a resolution on whether Cleveland Heights and Beachwood or Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood will participate in this weekend's playoff games.
If there is no resolution from the courts by midafternoon, the OHSAA will have to postpone the games in question, said, Tim Stried, spokesperson for the OHSAA.
"Court proceedings are taking place in Cuyahoga County right now trying to bring a resolution to this case. There could end up (being) several courts involved today (and moving forward until a resolution is reached)," he said.
The games that would be affected are the Division IV, Region 13 game at Brookfield Friday and the Division I, Region I Playoff game at St. Edward Saturday.
St. Ed's will play either Cleveland Heights (which obtained a temporary restraining order against the OHSAA) or Mayfield. Beachwood or Ashtabula Edgewood will play tonight if a decision is reached in time.
All other games will remain on schedule.
"There are several postponement scenarios, which all depend on when a resolution is reached by the courts," Stried said.
Stay tuned for updates as we receive them.
Updated 11:55 a.m. Friday
Mayfield City Schools is fighting the Cuyahoga County Court decision that took the team and Ashtabula Edgewood out of the playoffs and tagged Cleveland Heights and Beachwood in.
The superintendent and athletic director of the school spoke to ESPN 850 WKNR this morning.
“Here’s the bottom line. Our kids earned their way onto the playoff field because they were selected by the Ohio High School Athletic Association based on their season record,” said Superintendent Keith Kelly in a release on the school's website. “The Wildcats, our athletes, our coaches, our parents have become collateral damage in a court ruling which, quite frankly, makes no sense. Mayfield earned its way onto the playoff field. We were invited to play by the OHSAA.”
Cleveland Heights Coach Jeff Rotsky also spoke on the radio program Friday morning.
The OHSAA is expected to make an announcement by this afternoon.
“We stand by our players and coaches and will fight for them for a fair and just outcome,” Kelly said in the statement. “In the end it may be the Ohio Supreme Court which has the final word.”
Stay tuned for updates.
Updated at 6:00 a.m. Friday
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District announced late Thursday night that the school's and Beachwood's playoff spots remain in question.
Ashtabula Edgewood is fighting a decision made in Cuyahoga County Court Thursday to grant the district a temporary restraining order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which would have meant playoff spots for the Cleveland Heights Tigers and the Beachwood Bison.
"OHSAA has two conflicting county court orders and has offered no solution or plan for resolving the conflict," the release stated.
The OHSAA released a statement, included below, indicating it is working with its legal team to determine the "next course of action." It has not updated its brackets to show Cleveland Heights and Beachwood in the playoffs.
The CH-UH School District proposed one solution for the OHSAA — consider a play-in game for the four teams affected — CH-UH, Beachwood, Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood.
"We remain willing to participate in a 'play-in' game to solve this for all of the schools involved," CH-UH stated. "We are also considering our remaining legal options to force the OHSAA to abide by their own rules."
Look for an update soon, and read below for more information.
Updated 11 p.m. Thursday
The Beachwood City School District has announced that the Ohio High Schools Athletic Association has updated the varsity football state playoff rankings, confirming that Cleveland Heights-University Heights and Beachwood high schools will play in the first round Friday night.
Beachwood High School plays Brookfield Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium, 200 South Highland Avenue, Girard, OH 44420.
This is only the second time Beachwood has made the playoffs in the school's history. The first time was in 1989.
Cleveland Heights will take on St. Edward at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Lakewood Stadium.
Updated 6:26 p.m. Thursday
The Ohio High School Athletic Association released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating that they are reviewing the court's decision about the Cleveland Heights, Beachwood, Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood playoff games.
“The OHSAA was notified today of a Cuyahoga County court’s decision to rule in favor of Cleveland Heights regarding the football eligibility of another school, which results in Cleveland Heights receiving enough computer points to earn the eighth and final spot in the Division I, Region 1 playoffs. The OHSAA is working with its legal team and the legal teams of the schools affected by this decision to pursue our next course of action. Because of second-level computer points, the court’s decision has many implications for other teams and regions of the playoffs, which are scheduled to begin Friday night. To be clear, the student-athlete in question at the school which forfeited its game was eligible by all OHSAA standards.”
Published 2:05 p.m. Thursday
The Cleveland Heights and Beachwood football teams could be in the playoffs, thanks to a decision made in Cuyahoga County court today, according to a press release from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
The CH-UH School District filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association, challenging a JFK forfeit to John Adams that was not observed in the final rankings. The OHSAA denied the Tigers’ initial appeal, which caused Cleveland Heights to file the temporary restraining order.
Mayfield ultimately wound up with the eighth and final playoff spot in Region 1, and Cleveland Heights was ranked ninth, narrowly missing the opportunity.
The Tigers appealed to the OHSAA on Sunday because it did not observe a forfeit from JFK to John Adams — a team the Cleveland Heights beat. The forfeit would improve John Adams’ record to 5-5, giving the Tigers the slim margin they need to leap Mayfield.
Because Judge Richard McMonagle granted the motion for a temporary restraining order, the Tigers say they are now into the 8th and final OHSAA computer rankings in our region, according to a news release from the CH-UH District.
Beachwood's athletic director Ryan Peters says the OHSAA hasn't confirmed it yet, as he's sure the other schools will appeal. He is being cautious with saying that they're definitely in the playoffs.
But, he added, "This is probably one of the most exciting things that's happened to Beachwood, if it happens. I'd be really happy for the team and the coaches and the community."
He added that the Bison have been practicing this week, aside from Tuesday's calamity day.
The decision would mean that Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood no longer qualify.
Cleveland Heights will take on St. Edward at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Lakewood Stadium, the release stated. They've also been practicing at Denison Park field.
Cleveland Heights High football coach Jeff Rotsky said he "nearly cried with joy. We’ve been practicing all week with a strong belief in the legal system."
“Our boys legitimately qualified for the spot in the playoffs and we appreciate that our legal system made this right. It’s unfortunate for Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood that this adjustment wasn’t made as soon as Cleveland JFK forfeited its game against John Adams.”
Beachwood Coach Ryan Williams said before the decision was made that "the chances are slim."
“But if they tell us to play we’ll be ready to play,” Williams said. “It’s been a very interesting last couple of days for sure.”
Look for more updates on this article soon.