A High School Football Player In Arkansas Skirted Ineligibility As A Transfer Student By Getting Married
KATV- After a winless season last year, Mountain Pine opened this season with a 35-0 loss to Jessieville. But the next week the Red Devils won. Then in week three, the team won again. Mountain Pine is now 7-1 and heading for the playoffs.
So, what changed between week one and week two? A star player became eligible.
Mountain Pine has several good players, but this player has rushed for over 100 yards in every game. He has scored 16 touchdowns in those seven victories.
He was a transfer student initially ruled ineligible by the Arkansas Activities Association. He gained eligibility thanks to a little-known and seldom-used exception: He got married to a student in the district and moved in with her parents.
Rule 16, Subsection A, Exception 6 states that if a "… student is married and living with a spouse ... who had an established domicile in the district one year prior to the marriage ..." then he or she is instantly eligible.
On Aug. 31, Mountain Pine Superintendent Bobby Applegate emailed the AAA asking, "What all information did you say you needed for our student to become eligible when he gets married besides the license?"
A week later, Applegate provided the AAA with a marriage certificate with the names of two 17-year-old students on it. Applegate also provided an email from the bride's father confirming that the teens had married "due to a certain circumstances."
"What we do is just make sure that they followed our rules and being married with a marriage certificate ... that's part of our rules," says Taylor.
KATV visited the home where this player now lives. His father-in-law decided against doing an on-camera interview but he assures that the primary reason for this union does not involve sports or eligibility.
Sixteen touchdowns in seven games? Over 100 yards rushing each time he's taken the field? Going undefeated with a team that had to drop out the previous season due to lack of participation? You're damn right this kid is married, because - regardless of what his birth certificate says - he is one grown ass man. Honestly, my biggest concern isn't that this marriage is between two children who have absolutely no idea who the fuck they are or what the fuck they are doing. Hell, it's not even the possibility that the certificate was signed in the interest of meaningless high school athletics. It's that it might soon need an annulment if Boobie Miles Jr. ends up alone in the kitchen with his wife's mom after working himself into a lather at practice. If his stats are any indication then he's 17-going-on-35 and a goatee away from competing for the hand of his mother-in-law.
In all seriousness, has one extremely odd news story ever done a better job embracing the culture of a region? It has basically all the ingredients. Take some teenage matrimony, sprinkle in a pseudo-psychotic love of football, swirl it all together with some strange loophole, spread it even throughout an unorthodox family structure, bake under one roof until playoff eligible, and - voila - the South!
I bet the writers from 'Friday Night Lights' are kicking themselves right in the ass right about now for not doing the research necessary to stumble upon a goddamn goldmine of a plot line. In fact, they may have even intentionally turned that page thinking that invoking a nuptial clause between 27 year olds playing teenagers would have been too far fetched for a show in which nearly every game ends with a successful hail mary. It's too bad they didn't do their homework on Mountain Pine, Arkansas.