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Calvary Chapel withdraws appeal, will forfeit 11 boys games

Updated February 15, 2019 - 7:46 pm

Calvary Chapel Christian School has withdrawn its appeal of a decision to forfeit 11 of its Class 2A Southern League boys basketball games.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association said Friday the school had dropped the appeal after a hearing at Chaparral High School, meaning the forfeits levied by the association this week stand.

Calvary Chapel was deemed by the NIAA to have used two ineligible players in boys basketball and one in girls basketball from Dec. 4 through Feb. 4.

“The boys 2A Southern League standings will stand,” NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson said. “That has been agreed upon at the hearing today.”

The Calvary Chapel boys had finished the regular season in second place in the Southern League with a 12-2 record. The forfeits changed the Lions’ record to 1-13 and knocked the Lions out of the playoffs.

The school did not drop its appeal of 11 forfeited girls basketball league games. A decision on the appeal is expected next week. The league playoffs begin Feb. 22.

“The girls standings are still in flux based on the decision by the hearing officer,” Nelson said.

Calvary Chapel and one of its boys players, senior O’Brien Pearce, also have explored the possibility of a lawsuit against the NIAA. A copy of the lawsuit was obtained by the Review-Journal on Thursday, but the NIAA said it did not know if the suit had been filed.

The lawsuit alleged misrepresentation by the NIAA, claiming the association cleared Pearce “for play in a basketball tournament but then deemed him ineligible a week before the playoffs were set to begin.”

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the NIAA from making Calvary Chapel forfeit any games and to allow the three students to participate the rest of the season, including the postseason.

It’s unclear whether Calvary Chapel’s decision to drop the appeal of the boys games would affect the lawsuit.

Dobberstein Law Group was listed as representing Pearce and the school in the suit. A message seeking comment from the Dobberstein office was not returned Friday.

A Calvary Chapel spokesperson said Friday that athletic director Jaime Cuellar would have no comment on the matter while it remains open.

More preps: Follow at nevadapreps.com and @NevadaPreps on Twitter.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4690.

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