prep softball

North Newton's Zylo ineligible because school oversight of IHSAA rules

2011-05-10T22:00:00Z 2012-09-25T23:46:14Z North Newton's Zylo ineligible because school oversight of IHSAA rulesBy Steve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

Kyra Zylo went to last Friday's North Newton softball game. The senior sat in the dugout, but she didn't wear her uniform. She wasn't allowed to.

Two days earlier Zylo was ruled ineligible by the IHSAA because the National Honor Society student, who is No. 6 in her class with a 3.73 GPA, is only taking five credit hours this semester.

The IHSAA rule is a student-athlete must be passing six credit hours in a semester in order to play sports.

"It kind of stinks," Zylo said Monday. "It's been really upsetting and disappointing. I was there for the team and cheering them on. But it still stinks.

"I feel my job is to be a student athlete. The school and the corporation let me down. They should've told me at the start of the year and this would've been taken care of. I assumed they knew what they were doing."

The oversight was found out when North Newton sent its softball sectional roster to Indianapolis.

That's when Zylo's name kept getting kicked out, meaning she was ineligible. An appeal request to IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox was denied on Monday.

"We regret that this oversight occurred," North Newton athletic director Chris Enyeart said. "We are very sorry for the kids and their families because of what transpired. We are diligently working to correct this and make sure this never happens again."

Zylo, who will graduate with 12 college credits, is taking a Health Occupations Course at Rensselaer High School which will help prepare her for her career choice of being a nurse.

Not knowing the IHSAA rule, she took a study hall at Newton. Zylo only took five credit hours in the fall, too, which means North Newton will have to forfeit 16 of its 17 volleyball wins.

The Spartans will also have to forfeit four softball victories this spring.

"Due to her total number of classes, she does not meet the minimum standard set by the member school for academic eligibility," Cox wrote to the Zylo family in an email.

And worse, there is no hardship consideration because the choice of classes falls within the student and the parent.

Gina Zylo said the administrative oversight of IHSAA rules has been going on for awhile at North Newton. Senior track athlete Stephanie Estes was also ruled ineligible this season for the same reason as Zylo.

Gina said that Cody Jackson, a three-sport star last school year, did the same thing that her daughter did this year. But it went undetected and he was allowed to make it to the semistate in wrestling.

"Someone didn't do their job, there are no checks and balances and my daughter got smacked in the face," Gina said. "There is nothing in our student handbook about this. I'm not even sure if anyone at the school knew the (IHSAA) rule until my daughter was told she couldn't play."

For Kyra, she will continue to support her teammates. At the game on Monday all the Spartans were wearing arm bands with her number, 24, on them.

A little heart and a softball was also on them. And some also said, "We love you."

"When I was told I was ineligible it broke my heart," Kyra said. "I wanted to finish the season so bad."

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