LHSAA denies John Curtis appeal, school could forfeit 20 or more football wins

10 JOHN CURTIS TO DIVISION ONE 1

It is a ruling that could force John Curtis to return its 2013 state football championship trophy. If so, headmaster and head coach JT Curtis says, so be it.

“If they want their trophy back, they can have it,” said Curtis.

Curtis was reacting minutes after the executive committee of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association denied the school’s appeal of a ruling that said former student athlete Willie Allen, now an offensive tackle at LSU, played while ineligible.

The vote to deny was 16 for, 1 against, and 1 abstain. Keith Morgan, principal at Class C Elizabeth High School cast the lone vote for John Curtis.

Here’s the vote:

The LHSAA said Curtis violated the retention rule by providing housing for Allen for the last two and a half years. JT Curtis disputed, saying that Allen went to live in the home of assistant coach Jerry Godfrey because transportation from New Orleans East would not allow Allen to be on time for practice.

Here's what JT Curtis told us about the ruling:

Assistant Executive Director BJ Guzzardo said he "received a text message from a phone number that I did not recognize with a link to a newspaper article."

JT Curtis said he knows who turned his school in, and that it was a former LHSAA commissioner.

Curtis said he wasn't sure how many games Allen played in, but he did play in the 2013 state title game. Curtis said the total number of victories to be forfeited could be 20 or more, but he wasn't sure.

But, Curtis said he's considering going to arbitration. That would cost the school $5,000 just to start the process, and if Curtis loses, the school would have to pay attorneys fees for the LHSAA.

John Curtis opens the regular season Friday night against Landry Walker at Muss Bertolino Stadium.