MHSAA: Boothe ineligible for rest of 2014-15

Published 12:05 am Monday, December 8, 2014

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi High School Athletics Association deemed Cathedral’s Wyatt Boothe ineligible to play basketball or baseball for the remainder of his senior season despite declaring him eligible to play athletics in July.

Cathedral Chief Administrator Pat Sanguinetti said Boothe, a Louisiana resident, had to send in a request for eligibility before the season because of a new MHSAA rule stating that transfers living out of state could not enroll in association schools and play athletics.  After receiving permission via a letter by the MHSAA, Boothe played quarterback for the Green Wave and helped lead the team to an MHSAA Class A State Championship.  Sanguinetti said a representative of another school in the state questioned Boothe’s eligibility during Cathedral’s playoff run in football, prompting talks between the MHSAA and school officials.

The decision to rule Boothe ineligible for athletics was made Saturday, one day after the Green Wave’s state championship win.

Email newsletter signup

Sanguinetti is expected to hear from the MHSAA today in hopes of setting up a meeting with them to discuss the matter.

“I will refrain from commenting until I get a final decision from the MHSAA,” Sanguinetti said. “Once I get that decision from them, and I feel pretty confident the decision will be reversed back to him being eligible because they already ruled him eligible for a year, we’ll see where we go from there.”

Sanguinetti sent the MHSAA a letter written by Boothe’s family detailing why Boothe wanted to transfer in early July. Boothe, who was going to be a senior quarterback with the Trinity Saints, received advice from his father Leo Boothe about a decision he faced in June.

“Wyatt wanted to stay at Trinity, but I was looking at the situation and was wondering if (Trinity) had enough players to put together a team,” said Leo, referencing a Trinity team before transfers from Natchez High School came to fill the roster. “So we looked at Cathedral as our only real option because he couldn’t transfer to ACCS because it was a private school, and he didn’t want to play 8-man football at Tensas Academy.”

Leo, who is weighing his options, said he would attempt to take legal action today regarding the MHSAA’s decision.

“The whole reason why we chose to come to Cathedral is because we received permission,” Leo said. “We were dependent on that agreement. If I say, ‘Hey man, let’s cross the Mississippi River in my boat,’ and we get halfway, and I say, ‘Hey, I made an error.’ Are you just going to sit there in the boat?”

Attempts to reach the MHSAA were unsuccessful Sunday afternoon.