By AARON SNYDER
ASHLAND — The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has penalized Fairview High School and its football program after it played an ineligible player throughout all of last season and part of this season.
The KHSAA made its final ruling on Friday morning via a faxed document which Fairview superintendent Bill Musick and the school board approved.
Sanctions include a 2013 postseason ban, forfeits, a fine and a four-year probation.
Fairview will be stripped of 18 wins, including all 14 during its Class A state runner-up season in 2012 and its first four victories this season. The school has also agreed to pay $5,000 — a $2,800 restitution to the KHSAA for travel allowances paid during the 2012 state football finals and $550 to each of the four schools Fairview defeated in the 2012 playoffs.
All hardware collected throughout the playoffs must be returned to the KHSAA, and the state runner-up finish has been vacated.
The Eagles will be forced to miss the 2013 playoffs, which were set to begin at home on Nov. 8 had they been eligible.
The football team is under probation through 2017 — this does not include a playoff ban past 2013. If the program commits another violation during that period, the KHSAA's penalty would be much more severe, said Musick.
"For 55 years, Fairview Schools have had an outstanding relationship with the (KHSAA). Today's ruling will not change that relationship," Musick said. "We as a staff at Fairview Schools accept the responsibility for what has transpired."
"It is my hope that this setback, and the many lessons learned by all of those involved, will only serve to strengthen their resolve to do things correctly and fairly on behalf of the students, coaches, administrators and fans," said KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett.
How the ruling affects the Class A playoff matchups, according to the KHSAA: The vacated game between Fairview and the third-place team from the opposite district will be considered a forfeit by Fairview. No other adjustments will be made.
Fairview's record now officially stands at 4-5. All forfeits will be reflected on the team's record as 1-0 losses.
Fairview travels to James Gamble Montessori in Cincinnati tonight for its last game of the season.
In addition to the KHSAA sanctions, the school has also accepted the resignations of head football coach Nathan McPeek, effective after today's game, and athletic director Garry McPeek, which has already taken effect.
Garry McPeek also resigned as principal and is no longer an assistant coach.
Nathan McPeek remains a teacher at the high school, while Garry McPeek has been reassigned to Fairview Elementary where he is a physical education instructor.
Chris Perkins, a transfer from Ashland, played all of last season and the first four games of this season. According to Perkins, he repeated his academic junior year at Fairview upon transferring. The KHSAA did not name Perkins in its release, but it has ruled that the student-athlete wasn't eligible to compete in athletics in the fall of 2012 or 2013.
"I had no knowledge of the student-athlete being academically ineligible," said Nathan McPeek in a statement. "I have put my heart and soul into this program and results have spoken for themselves … I was asked to resign as head football coach due to the investigation."
Perkins said he quit the team after Fairview beat Hazard, 30-27, on Sept. 20. The defensive end also said he was not informed of his ineligibility at any point and that did not factor into quitting.