High school football, there really isn’t anything like it.
That statement quite literally is true for Cardinal Ritter College Prep. in St. Louis as it canceled its entire season and fired every coach on staff after a suspended running back on the team was allowed to play under a completely different name and number. Cardinal Ritter was in the middle of a 7-0 season when it decided to call it quits on the year.
What gave his false-identity away you ask? That would be the tattoos on his right arm.
The running back, Bill Jackson, was ejected from last year’s state championship game, therefore, he had to sit out the season opener this year, but it sounds like he and the coaching staff wanted to pull a fast one and put him in a different number under and last name, according to STLhighschoolsports.com and CBS Sports.
“Instead of his normal No. 4, he wore No. 24 and went under a freshman named “Marvin Burks.” It was Jackson’s tattoos that ended up giving him away. Jackson, as well as head coach Brandon Gregory, both went along with the lie that the junior didn’t play, despite him actually putting up 109 yards on the ground and scoring a 56-yard touchdown in the 32-21 win.
Gregory told the Post-Dispatch that the imaginary freshman Burks, “earned” the start and that “it was his time to play ball.” Jackson also put his acting skills to the test, telling the newspaper that “watching last week, it wasn’t fun at all. It gave me a spark.”
It seems like head coach Brandon Gregory and Jackson really thought this whole thing out with Gregory preaching to the media that the imaginary player earned his time on the field. They had this whole thing planned out but forgot to put a sleeve on the kid’s arm.
Gregory wasn’t done talking out of his ass though.
After the team was busted, he said he didn’t know Jackson was supposed to be suspended for a game. This raises the question of ‘well then why the hell did he wear a different jersey?’ Gregory tried to explain that changing numbers is a thing players on the team do all the time and sometimes the kids don’t let the staff know.
That is some rich, rich stuff.
High school football, man.