Idurham, you did not bother to actually state any facts.
FACT: TSSAA has stated there was no recruiting in this case. So that is half of your bigoted comments gone.
FACT: SMMHS has over 100 out of zone students, of which only 7 play any sports. Just reading these posts would have shown you 44 students from the Howard zone alone go to SMMHS.
FACT: The teacher you say is unqualified was hired and at SMMHS well before this student broached the idea of going to SMMHS. But you believe the parents on Signal Mountain only want unqualified teachers. they must really hate their kids to want them to have a bad education. You are an idiot.
FACT: The student involved had never played a down of regular season football at any high school. He did play and get hurt in a pre-season game at LFO. So of course, that would be enough to shop his skills to the highest bidder. I find it real hard to understand how Lane Kippen at USC had not already given him a scholarship. You are an idiot again.
FACT: Georgia schools are required to give exit exams. Tennessee are not. That is not just SMMHS, but also Brainerd and all the rest. Having lived in Georgia before and seeing the many students that cannot pass that test, it would have been smart for any student wanting to get a high school diploma and having a learning ability, to look for a way to get extra help in any way possible. The fact that at SMMHS he would be at a school which because of the financial ability of the school, could offer him that help, only proves that he is indeed a smart kid. There are 44 kids from the Howard zone that evidentially agree, along with many other out of zone students.
Comment: While many others posting comments, seem to think that this proves a problem with too much attention on sports and not education, I interpret it differently. All testimony and other information given says this student and his family made the decision and daily sacrifice to have him attend SMMHS for EDUCATION. He could have played football at other schools, where he would have gotten as much or more attention by any possible colleges because of being in larger classification. But he believed that SMMHS would offer him the best chance to do his best. EDUCATION was the reason he chose SMMHS, not football.
This comes down to a paperwork issue, where someone interpreted something wrong on the form (at least according to TSSAA), and because of whatever reason, the students are the ones being punished unfairly.
One other FACT: I live in Harrison and do not really care if SMMHS goes to the playoffs or not. I do regret seeing students punished unfairly, no matter where they are from. From everything that has been said or done since this came to light, the TSSAA has handled the issue very badly.
Thank you WacondaVol, I'm glad somebody finally sees the big picture here. Any bylaws that punishes a bunch of innocent kids for something they had nothing to do with is asinine. The faculty made a mistake... right or wrong it has nothing to do with the players. TSSAA needs to reconsider their punishments. I hate to see this happen to the SM kids but would not want to see it happen to another team either.