Exclusive: Amityville High School basketball team forfeits title due to ineligible player

Kristin Thorne has the exclusive report from Amityville, Long Island.
February 25, 2014 3:34:35 PM PST
A high school basketball team on Long Island stripped of its title and benched just before a championship game.

It's because the coach allowed in an ineligible player to play a few minutes in a game for Amityville High School.

Students and parents are meeting right now to talk about what's next. The team spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.

Eighth graders are not supposed to play on varsity and one was put in two recent games just for a few seconds.

"It's just really devastating how they can take our championship like that. We worked so hard for it just for a mishap that happened between paperwork," said Malcolm Mathis.

It was a devastating end to the season for members of the Amityville High School basketball team.

They've been stripped of their Suffolk class A title, they tell Eyewitness News after league officials found out that an 8th grader illegally played in games on the varsity team this season.

"We worked really hard to get where we were at. Practice, our school work. We wanted to go upstate," said Travis Dickerson.

It's unclear whether their coach knew the JV player should not have been put in the games.

Team members say that the 8th grader played only a few seconds or a few minutes in at least two playoff games, including the championship game this past weekend.

"I'm really upset I feel bad for the children. It's not their fault," said Margaret Mathis, a mother of one of the players.

Amityville was supposed to play Southampton Tuesday night and that game has been canceled.

The title has now gone to John Glenn High School in East Northport.