NJSIAA Releases Statement Addressing Denial of Accommodations for Ocean’s Tyler Thompson
The NJSIAA has released a statement addressing the denial of accommodations for Ocean senior Tyler Thompson, who missed the District 22 Tournament because of SAT testing.
Shore Sports Network reported Friday that Thompson, a standout running back with a scholarship to UMass and also the Spartans 195-pound wrestler, was denied a request to weigh-in 90 minutes early on Saturday for the NJSIAA District 22 Tournament. Ocean's coaches and Thompson had planned on him wrestling his quarterfinal bout on Friday and - assuming his won - forfeit his semifinal match on Saturday morning while taking the SAT test. He would then return for the third-place bout to try to secure a qualifying spot for the Region VI Tournament. Thompson was expected to finish among the top three.
The NJSIAA had come under criticism on social media for its decision.
Additionally, Thompson's mother, Delanya, informed Shore Sports Network on Tuesday that UMass did not require Thompson to take the SAT on Saturday Feb. 21. The decision to take the teat that day was made by she and Thompson's father.
The NJSIAA statement, which was issued late Monday afternoon, did not address Thompson's situation specifically, but described the circumstances which may have caused students statewide to miss athletic events.
“NJSIAA -- which offers tournaments in 32 sports -- publishes tournament schedules well in advance to accommodate the 433 schools and quarter of a million student athletes who hope to participate in post-season play. Given that SATs and ATCs are offered multiple times throughout the year, and at numerous locations, conflicts with some testing dates can't always be avoided. As is always the case, student athletes, their parents, and school administrators should always develop plans to meet academic needs while also accommodating extracurricular activities.
In advance of the January 23 snow storm, many locations postponed scheduled SAT testing until the weekends ofFebruary 20 and February 27. The SATs are also offered March 5, with registration closing tomorrow (February 23). With 32 wresting tournaments, indoor track events that feature nearly 1,500 participants, more than a dozen swim teams competing for a title, and hundreds of fencers in action this past Saturday (February 20), the change in the SAT dates did impact some student athletes. But, the NJSIAA received just a handful of inquires from parents. Most students -- working in conjunction with their guidance departments -- were able to find alternative testing dates and sites during the one-month delay. No member school has questioned the NJSIAA schedule or its decisions related to individual athletes.”
A report by mycentraljersey.com, however, shows even if the NJSIAA had granted Thompson an earlier weigh-in the star senior still would not have been able to wrestle. The National Federation of High Schools (NFS) rules, which the NJSIAA adheres to, state that a forfeit, unless of the medical variety, disqualifies that wrestler from the remainder of the tournament.
“A forfeit shall eliminate a contestant from further competition in a tournament,” reads NFHS rule 10-2-5, “except when the forfeit is because of injury or illness which occurred during the tournament.”
Wrestling editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.