2012, Week 12: Shock! Cathedral Forfeits Season

The dreaded “Administrative Glitch” is in play in the San Diego Section playoffs.

Cathedral’s honored program took a body blow early this week when the Dons were forced to forfeit eight victories in an 8-2 season and were knocked out the postseason.

The Dons self-reported an ineligible player, who appeared in all 10 Cathedral games.  San Diego Section rules are that a team with three forfeits cannot participate in the playoffs.

The violation seems minor, at worst.

According to sources, the player attended Cathedral as a freshman, transferred to another school for his sophomore year, and came back to Cathedral this year.

Routine paper work that would have allowed the player to be on the Cathedral squad this season apparently was not completed, misplaced, or overlooked.

Cathedral’s staggering loss was good news to Serra, which lost to the Dons 55-7 in the final regular-season game and was to play Cathedral in the quarterfinals this week, the Dons having received a first-round bye.

Serra now will play at Ramona, which eliminated West Hills 41-21,  in the III semifinals.

Cathedral was the San Diego Section’s preeminent Division III team.  The Dons topped No. 2-ranked Helix 16-9 and battled state-ranked No. 1 Vista Murrieta before surrendering a fourth-quarter touchdown and losing 21-10.


Cathedral’s misfortune is not new in any sport on the high school landscape.

Most recently Madison was forced to forfeit the IV title in 2010 because of a residential transfer beef.  The Warhawks, with help from the City Schools, litigated and had the judgment overturned.

Chula Vista forfeited 4 victories and went from 9-0 to 5-4 in 1976 and was out of the playoffs.

The 1958-59 San Diego High basketball team, 16-2 and poised for a deep run in the Southern California playoffs, forfeited all 16 victories. Starting forward Otha Phillips was beyond the athletics-eligible age limit.

The Cavers, behind the great Arthur (Hambone) Williams finished the season 23-2 competitively but 7-18 legislatively.

Seeded teams successfully moved through the  rounds.  Semifinals will match the top 4 in divisions I, II, IV, and V.  Serra is No. 7 in III.

Quarterfinals average scores:  Division I, 35-17; II, 41-16; III, 35-15; IV, 34-23; V, 41-11.

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