Hilton Head High filed a report to the state's governing body for athletics, requesting a decision on whether its football program committed rules violations, Beaufort County School District officials confirmed Wednesday.
Superintendent Valerie Truesdale said the school self-reported a possible infraction after two transfer students played in a football scrimmage when they had not yet been declared eligible by the S.C. High School League. In fact, one was not enrolled at Hilton Head High at that point, though he is now, Truesdale said.
Seahawks football head coach Tim Singleton denied any wrongdoing Wednesday.
Hilton Head High principal Amanda O'Nan said Wednesday evening the school had not heard back from the league and that she was not given a timetable for its response.
"We have voluntarily reported to the South Carolina High School League some circumstances that we feel may be regulatory violations with our football program," O'Nan said. "Our school has a strong tradition of integrity, and we want to make sure we protect that tradition. When the South Carolina High School League responds to our report, we will have more to share at that time."
Truesdale said she expects the High School League will take some action against the football program but did not speculate what that penalty might be. She said confirming eligibility is a head coach's responsibility but added the district will wait to hear back from the High School League before determining if or how Singleton will be disciplined.
According to the SCHSL constitution, the following penalties apply when an ineligible student participates:
The constitution further states that "any student in uniform of one of the competing schools and permitted in the bench area is considered as having participated in the game or scrimmage."
Tim Singleton said Wednesday his program is not in violation of any rules.
"As we dug a little deeper, we found we haven't committed any violations," Singleton said. "We've done nothing wrong. I have no other comment. I'm pleased and ready to play football."
District officials began hearing rumors Sunday that the Seahawks had allowed players not yet eligible to participate in the scrimmage. Officials looked into the matter Monday and reported their findings to the High School League on Tuesday, Truesdale said.
"We were duty-bound to self-report," she said.
Hilton Head High opens its regular season Friday with a trip to rival Bluffton High School.
Island Packet editor Jeff Kidd contributed to this story.