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Hamilton athletic director resigns, basketball team forfeits all wins after rules violation

Posted at 11:33 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-23 11:18:16-05

Hamilton High School’s athletic director has resigned, and the basketball team has been ordered to forfeit all wins this season because of a rules violation, school officials said this morning.

The Journal-News reported a violation of transfer eligibility rules, first investigated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and then by Hamilton Schools officials, has led to the resignation of Athletic Director Bill Stewart.

“During the investigation, it was discovered the Hamilton High School Athletic Department and Hamilton High School Athletic Director violated the procedure required by the OHSAA regarding the district residency of a student-athlete,” the district said in a statement.

Hamilton was 8-4 this season heading into tonight’s game against Lakota West at Hamilton. The district did not identify which player or players were at issue.

"In cooperation with Hamilton High School administrators, it was discovered that a member of the school’s varsity boys basketball team should not have been permitted to participate due to not having a parent living in Ohio, according to OHSAA Bylaw 4-6-2," OHSAA spokesperson Tim Stried said.

"As a result, the school must forfeit any victorious contests in which the ineligible student participated and the student may not resume participation until he has a parent who is a resident of Ohio. At this time, there are no other penalties assessed to the school. The team may continue playing its scheduled contests and enter the OHSAA tournament.”

Stewart was hired in April by Hamilton Schools after nine years as Lebanon High School’s athletic director. He spent 32 years as a teacher, administrator and coach at Fairfield Schools.

"It has been a privilege to serve at Hamilton High School and work with their outstanding administration, coaches, teachers and student-athletes," Stewart said Friday.

"Hamilton has many bright days ahead and I look forward to following the student-athletes and coaches whom I was honored to work beside and serve."

The district said it will begin the process to hire the next Hamilton High School Athletic Director immediately.

Hamilton school officials declined to comment beyond their released statement.

The Journal-News is a news partner of WCPO.