COLUMBUS, Texas -- We’re getting a whole different story about the Columbus track star who was disqualified for what was initially described as an act of faith. One week later, the teen track star’s father admits the tale of what happened with his son was twisted.
According to the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of high school sports, after the regional meet, Columbus High School’s Derrick Hayes did not put a hand up to God, as his family first claimed.
There's apparently video proof of this but the UIL has not released the video. Instead, officials say Hayes did not point up to the heavens, rather he actually put his hand out and when an official told him to stop. Officials say Hayes was disrespectful and it was because of that his team was disqualified.
Last week, the Hayes family said at the end of the race “he put his hand by his ear and just pointed at the heavens, That's the way he was raised so i take the blame for that.”
But now, Hayes’ parents have given a statement to the UIL saying, "It was not our intention to force the issue that our son's religious freedom was violated."
Hayes also wrote in the statement, "Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with... my actions upon winning the 4X100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory."
As for the disrespect that the UIL says really stopped the team in its tracks, Hayes’ father says, “Was he disrespectful? No. I’m not gonna say another word. You asked a simple question was he disrespectful. No.”
Regardless of who says what, the Columbus High School track team has no chance at making a run at a state title.
Officials connected with this investigation refused to say anything. The ULI launched an investigation into what family and supporters were saying only after KHOU 11 News covered the story.