East High star Seven McGee ruled ineligible for this season East High star Seven McGee ruled ineligible for this season
One of the best high school football players in the state will not take the field this season for East High. The New York... East High star Seven McGee ruled ineligible for this season

One of the best high school football players in the state will not take the field this season for East High.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s (NYSPHSAA) Section V Football has denied Seven McGee’s right to play at East this year following issues over a transfer rule violation.

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Earlier this year, McGee’s family moved him to a top football school in California but then came back to Rochester months later due to concerns about the environment and living conditions out west, according to East Superintendent Dr. Shaun Nelms.

The school asked for a hardship waiver which got rejected

Nelms held a press conference on Friday afternoon to address the issue.

McGee has already committed to play for the University of Oregon. ESPN ranks him as the top player in New York’s class of 2021.

Read the superintendent’s statement in its entirety below:

It is with deep disappointment that I share that the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s (NYSPHSAA) Section V Football has denied East student-athlete Seven McGee the right to play football at East this season.

Earlier this year, the McGee family moved Seven, previously an East scholar, to California’s Narbonne High School, one of the top football schools in the country. While he was there for a few short months and did not participate in any organized school athletics, Seven quickly learned that his school environment and living condition in California were unsafe. In May, the Los Angeles Unified School District opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct at Narbonne High, leading to the football coach, principal, assistant principal, and athletic director having to be reassigned from their duties. Not wishing to compromise himself or stay in an unsafe environment, Seven has since removed himself from Narbonne and returned to Rochester, where he put in a request to play football at East. Narbonne High, which continues to be under investigation, has not provided the necessary information to Section V that would allow Seven to play football.

Early this week, we asked Section V for a hardship waiver of the transfer rule based on these facts and this young man’s difficult, unfair circumstances leading up to this point. That application was denied Thursday on the basis that Narbonne, the institution being investigated for misconduct, failed to provide any information to support Seven McGee’s waiver request. This young man has been through enough.

At East, it is our responsibility to make sure every student, regardless of race and/or socioeconomic status, is advocated for both inside and outside the classroom. And, we realize that many student-athletes from impoverished neighborhoods—and especially those who have been impacted by the harmful actions of adults—do not always have access to resources and assistance to make an appeal and have equal representation. On behalf of Seven and his family, we will appeal this decision so that this young man can have an equitable chance to pursue his academic and athletic endeavors at East and beyond high school. This is not about playing or winning a game. Rather, it’s an issue of equity and denying opportunity for a fine young man who tried to do the right thing.

— WHEC

Christopher Dupree

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