The Skaneateles football team never lost a game, but the season is officially over.
Late Thursday afternoon, Judge John Centra denied the Skaneateles School District's appeal of a decision suspending the football team's season.
Section III suspended the season last week after a report from the district alleging improper recruiting practices. Earlier this week, a judge upheld that suspension. Skaneateles appealed to the New York State Appellate Court, hoping the team could play in this weekend's Section III championship game.
Lawyers for the district and Section III met in Judge Centra's chambers in Syracuse for nearly two hours Thursday afternoon. When Skaneateles Superintendent Philip D'Angelo came out of the closed door meeting, he was visibly disappointed. D'Angelo says the district pursued the appeal on behalf of the kids, because the student-athletes themselves did not do anything wrong. He says the students are ending their season as winners.
Representatives and lawyers for Section III say the punishment is unfortunate, but can be used as a teachable moment for the students, showing them there are consequences for breaking the rules.
With this decision, Saturday's Section III championship game is set. Herkimer will face Utica Notre Dame. Skaneateles defeated Notre Dame last weekend, but the team was told earlier this week it would play.
Skaneateles head coach Tim Green resigned Tuesday. In his resignation letter, he supported the district's appeal, and said he hopes his resignation would be considered a resolution for Section III. Green is a former Syracuse University star and played in the NFL.
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