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Art Briles' Mount Vernon football team will not forfeit any games, officials say

The football program will not have to forfeit any games, because the players in question were previously ruled eligible by the DEC and the UIL.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday: Officials say Mt. Vernon will not forfeit any games. 

According to an email sent from the University Interscholastic League, the football program will not have to forfeit any games, because the players in question were previously ruled eligible by the DEC and the UIL. 

The two players are however ineligible. They can appeal that ruling to the State Executive Committee, officials say. 

Original story: Just a few weeks into his new job as a head high school football coach, former Baylor coach Art Briles is dealing with problems on the job in Mount Vernon.

According to the Mount Vernon School District, two of Briles' football players were ruled ineligible by the District Executive Committee Tuesday. The district says those two players were cleared by that committee three weeks ago, but that same board went back today and reviewed it once more, then determined they were ineligible.

According to the Mount Vernon School District, they believe this will have no impact on the team’s record. The district believes no games will be forfeited as a result of the ineligible players ruling.

The UIL's state executive committee can strip teams of victories if it decides a school violated the rules.

Briles' Mount Vernon Tigers are currently undefeated.

"In the event an ineligible contestant is used in any League game or contest, knowingly or unknowingly, the minimum penalty shall be forfeiture of the game, contest or event," according to the UIL constitution.

In a statement Tuesday night, Mount Vernon ISD superintendent Dr. Jason McCullough said the district is "disappointed by" the decision, but that they respect the decision.

The full statement reads:

"We are disappointed by and disagree with the sudden reversal of field by the District 7-AAA Executive Committee but respect its decision. Facts presented at a previous meeting on this topic resulted in the exoneration of the two students and validation of their athletic eligibility.

The DEC today voted 6-0 that the two students moved to our school district for athletic purposes as defined by U.I.L. rules, despite what we believe to be overwhelming evidence that the parents moved from Colorado for employment reasons. The DEC also voted 6-0 that Mt. Vernon ISD used a coach not employed by the district in violation of UIL rules. It then voted 6-0 to give Mt. Vernon a public reprimand for allowing a coach on the field who was not employed by the school.

It is our understanding that NO games will be forfeited as a result of today’s actions. 

Mount Vernon ISD will contact the UIL tomorrow to begin the appeal process. We feel confident that once the facts are reviewed by the State Executive Committee, the decision to punish the two students will be overturned."

Briles came to Mount Vernon High School in May after a brief stint coaching football in Italy following his 2015 firing from Baylor University in Waco. 

Briles was fired by Baylor for his handling of accusations of sexual assaults involving football players.

Briles led Baylor football for seven years. But after he was fired, one lawsuit alleged that during four of those years, there were 52 acts of rape, five of them gang rapes, involving at least 31 players.

This is a developing story. Check back for new information. Download our free WFAA app to stay up-to-date on all news stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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